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Washington's Waiting Children
|Child Name:||William (Joe)|
Joe, who likes to be called by his middle name, is a compassionate boy who looks out for other kids and has great affection for family pets and other animals. Described as an "old soul," he seems to have a natural affinity with animals. Joe makes friends easily with peers and other children, and adults are readily drawn to him, too. Among his many strengths, adults especially appreciate his very good manners.
A handsome boy with blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles, Joe is athletic, healthy, and strong. He loves sports, particularly baseball and soccer, and the outdoors is a favorite place to be. Joe has a yellow belt in Kung Fu, and he loves sharing techniques that he learns with his foster brothers. Some of his favorite pastimes are listening to hip hop music, playing video games, riding bikes, playing Frisbee, creating and building with Legos, and playing tetherball. For Joe, tetherball is not only a fun activity but can also be a therapeutic outlet for his feelings of frustration and anger. Joe is very excited about the prospect of playing basketball next year on a school team, and his worker is looking for a camp setting where he’ll have opportunities to increase his skill building.
Now in seventh grade, Joe did very well last year in school. Academically he benefited from the support of a 504 plan, and his behavior was pretty much on track. He also was very successful in participating in Track and Field and had lots of fun. His teachers describe him as creative and very social. They enjoy stories he creates and his excitement when he’s called on in class and has the right answers. While a bit below grade level, Joe does quite well in Math, Reading, and Writing. He does, though, show some difficulties in the processing of information. Joe also has a difficult time finding the right words when speaking, and speech therapy support is being set up to help him address that issue.
More than anything, Joe wants to be part of a permanent family and to feel that he belongs. He longs for consistency and predictability in his daily life and thrives on lots of individual attention. Structure and the routine of clear rules, expectations, and limits all help him feel safe and secure. Although his sense of trust has been badly shaken over the years, he has the ability and the desire to bond with new adults once he sees that they are trustworthy. A very affectionate boy who enjoys hugs and other expressions of caring, Joe wants to hang out with and engage with family members, and he is an enthusiastic participant in family activities.
With the help of trauma-focused counseling and medication therapy and the support of his foster parents, Joe continues to make progress in dealing with past trauma, as well as with the significant losses he has experienced over the years. Those losses have left him very fearful about the future and about trusting adults. Some of the things he is now willing to share and talk about are things he has not ever spoken of before. Joe also continues to work on developing strategies and tools to help him manage his feelings of anger in appropriate ways. While his anger outbursts are lessening, Joe still has a long way to go. It is likely that he will need counseling, at least on an as-needed basis, for the foreseeable future. Medication therapy continues to help manage his attention issues and lessen his anxiety. His level of fear in the past has interfered with his daily well-being and ability to maintain good boundaries.
Being willing to participate with Joe in family counseling during his transition into his adoptive home would be a meaningful way for his adoptive folks to show their love and commitment to him. It would also show that they value using such resources to help family members deal with past hurts, move forward in their personal growth and development, and maintain good boundaries.
While Joe's worker would like to place him with an experienced couple, she does not want to miss out on hearing from those exceptional single dads and single moms with great support from family, friends, and community resources. The parental traits that his worker and Joe himself will value most are consistency, patience, a nice sense of humor, and the ability to provide a very stable daily routine with clear, firm rules, expectations, limits, and consequences.
Legally free, Joe came into foster care initially in early 2003. It will be important in understanding Joe's issues for his adoptive parent(s) to have a good grasp of how early neglect and abuse amidst parental substance abuse, domestic violence, and unsafe adults can impact a child's sense of well-being and his emotional and behavioral development.
These are "profiles" only and are not intended to provide the detailed information that a family worker and family require in order to make a placement decision.