A Treatment Foster Care Client's Story

If you saw Lisa at a ball game, you would think she was a typical teen. She is good at basketball and writes poetry that would bring a tear to your eye. Her hopes and dreams are similar to other girls her age--seeking higher education, starting a family, and choosing a career path.

Although Lisa has a promising future, the struggles have been long, incomprehensible, and undeserved. She found the strength and determination to overcome alcohol abuse, chemical dependency, and thoughts of suicide.

Lisa is in the LSS Treatment Foster Care Program with Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota. She was referred to LSS from the Department of Social Services. The scars of abuse and neglect she experienced at an early age were not visible to the eye. Her birth dad is serving a long-term jail sentence. Her birth mother is an alcoholic and disappeared for weeks and sometimes months at a time, leaving Lisa to care for herself.

"Since she (her mom) wasn't home, I would start running away. Then I got locked up. I guess my mom decided she didn't want me anymore," she said. "I didn't have a place to go."

"I'm glad LSS was there. I'm not sure where Lisa would have gone." said the LSS social worker. "Lisa can experience the benefits, comfort, and nurturing of being included in a family and community."

Lisa agreed; she likes her life with her foster family. "I'm not going to let my past get to me anymore. I can not do anything about it anyway. I'm ready to move on."

"It is nice to care for a young person who is so motivated," said the director of Foster Care. "I'm confident Lisa will go on and have success in her life."

"Some children have had to deal with a tremendous amount of abuse and neglect and they are not as resilient as they need to be. Lisa is resilient. I get the feeling she will have peace in her life."

Because of the LSS Foster Care Program, Lisa has the benefits of a good home, developing a sense of belonging and love-all of which will help her become a stronger individual. Lisa now has a better chance of fulfilling her hopes and dreams.

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