VERMONT: Adam* spent eight years in foster care due to parental substance and physical abuse. Growing up with violence, he developed reactive and physical patterns of behavior that resulted in several failed foster home experiences, and eventually, he wound up living in a group home.
When Adam was assigned a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter from the Lund Family Center, she realized that Adam was not connected to anyone.
Fueled with a sense of urgency, his recruiter used the Connect Our Kids technology platform to search for family and community connections for Adam and created a “big beautiful map” of support for him. As a former Department of Children and Families (DCF) caseworker, she was impressed with its organization of logging contacts and documents. She found it easier to identify potential contacts than with previous manual paper files. The recruiter identified 41 potential contacts for Adam and began outreach efforts.
Adam has been excited about piecing together his family history and his place in it. He has received photos, letters, gifts, phone calls, and in-person visits from family members. After learning about his need for connection and permanency, some family members have requested caring for him permanently.
Since making these connections, people have been writing him letters, sending him Christmas cards, and sending him birthday presents. And he’s getting in-person visits and Zoom calls. The recruiter said, “He’s overloaded with just like love, and he’s a different kid. He’s, he’s, like, lit up. He looks forward to my visits because he’s like, ‘Who else did you find? You know, who’s out there? Who else? What else do you know [about my family]’ and piecing together his family like his heritage story? He’s left-handed, and there are other left-handed family members, so he feels so connected. He feels like he has support. He has people who love him and want to be there for him.”
“He’s our family; We want to be there for him. We want to get to know him.”
After feeling alone for so long, Adam has felt a bit overwhelmed but is working with a therapist and is beginning to turn his life around. He is grateful to be reunited with his family and cannot stop smiling!
These connections matter. Want to help more children like Adam? You can help today by donating HERE.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.