Anthony's Big Family

Family3 By Micah Bennett Johnson, LSG Case Manager in Rome

Anthony* came to Lutheran Services of Georgia's Specialized Foster Care program as a medically fragile teen. He was falling behind in school and had a known history of behavioral issues. Prior to being placed in foster care, Anthony lived with a caregiver whose old age and personal health issues prevented her from being able to fully provide for Anthony's medical needs.

The Harmon* family welcomed Anthony into their home. With help from LSG's supportive services, they were prepared to work with Anthony to address his behavioral issues and traumatic history. After over two months of support from the Harmon family and LSG's services to address medical and mental health needs, Anthony was progressing medically but still displayed behaviors that his foster family found challenging.

Although the Harmon family cared for Anthony, they realized that their home was not the best fit for Anthony. Anthony had developed close relationships with his foster parents and their extended family, particularly with his foster mother's parents. His foster family and their extended family wanted to support Anthony and to maintain as much continuity in his school, church, mental health and medical providers, caregivers, and friends as possible. LSG identified the foster mother's parents as potential matching family for Anthony. With Anthony's blessing, LSG and Anthony's health providers being working together to move the foster mother's parents through the training and home approval process as quickly as possible.

When Anthony realized that LSG and his foster family were working to support a positive transition for him, his behaviors and disposition improved. Anthony felt that he mattered to this big family, and that they cared enough about him to make sure he was in the best place. The foster family's sensitivity, understanding, and compassion inspired them to think outside the box in order to meet Anthony's needs for stability, permanency, and well-being. As for Anthony, he demonstrates the resilience and hope that so many of us working in the field see in the vulnerable children with whom we work. Anthony is a reminder that, above all, these kids want to be wanted, to be loved, to belong.

For more information about foster care or becoming a foster parent with LSG, click here.

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.