Christine* is a 12 year-old girl with a lot of energy. Before coming to Epworth a year and a half ago, Christine’s life was in disarray and the young girl struggled to make sense of the world. Her parents seemed to be in constant turmoil. She had been to Epworth once before for a short time but had returned home with her parents. Her mother was emotionally unstable and unable to provide the attention her daughter needed. Eventually her mom left town and left Christine in the care of her father.
Christine was daddy’s little girl, but he knew that her best interests were at risk and reached out to Epworth for help. He did not have the ability to pay for her care but, of course, Epworth allowed him to place Christine in its care anyway. At first Christine was resistant to Epworth. She worried that she would never get to go home again.
In the cottage, Christine was full of energy but struggled to focus on healthy and productive choices. The cottage staff started setting basic goals for her each day—wake up on time, get dressed, make the bed, etc. The list of things to do daily began to give Christine the consistency she needed to focus her attention. She started to do better in the cottage and in school.
About three months ago, her dad started to visit her. He started to put his life together while she was at Epworth. Through supervised visits they started to rebuild their relationship. He recognized the progress that both he and Christine were making in their lives separately, so he reached out to Christine’s case manager to develop a reunification plan. They have met more frequently in the last few weeks, and now the time has come when Christine can return home. On Father’s Day weekend, Christine will be reunified with her dad.
Christine’s stay at Epworth was provided 100% by the United Methodist congregations, people and community that support the ministry of Epworth. Providing her family with a safe place for her to stay enabled both her father and herself the space to grow so that they can now have a healthy life together.