|Every year, Casa Pacifica’s Wraparound Program hosts Strengthening Families – a seven-week curriculum geared at helping families in the community gain skills needed to successfully navigate life with children who have experienced complex trauma. The course is offered to all families participating in the Wraparound Program, a community-based service whose goal is to keep children in their home and communities by building on the family’s strengths and utilizing natural and community connections for support.
This year, we had three families complete the program, one of whom never missed a session. This particular family was a young couple with two small children – overnight they became a blended family of NINE by taking in a cousin’s five children ranging from toddler to teenager. The children were placed in the care of their cousins after they witnessed their father shoot and kill their mother. These young parents felt compelled to step in and care for the family; however, as you can imagine they also felt very overwhelmed.
Wraparound was introduced to help the instant family of nine ensure they could get the support they needed. The family quickly jumped on board, loading up their family of nine every week and making the 30-minute trek to our Flynn Rd. office. Together, family and staff ate dinner together and built rapport. Following dinnertime, childcare was provided by staff for the young children and the teens were invited into their own teen group led by staff. Meanwhile, the parents separated into their own group, learning new parenting skills in a session designed just for them.