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Washington's Waiting Children
Gabe is doing amazingly well! He is developing self-management skills, increasing his ability to use coping and processing skills, and making good choices. His ability to interact well with others continues to grow, and he is more and more able to process his feelings with trusted adults at his group home and at school. His social worker tells us that moving Gabe to a smaller therapeutic group home has provided wonderful opportunities for him to move forward. He has done so well, his level of care has gone down one level.
Legally free, Gabe came into foster care in 2006. Multiple placements over the years took a huge toll on him, exacerbating his feelings of loss, abandonment, attention difficulties, restless energy, and impulsiveness. While it is known that drug abuse was significant in his birth family, it is not known if Gabe was exposed to that abuse in utero; the challenges of his mood swings and impulsiveness, though, are suggestive of fetal alcohol effects.
Fortunately, being in therapeutic group care has given Gabe the level of stability that helps him feel safe and has allowed and encouraged him to grow in ways that he was not able to do previously.
His current group home program includes educational, mental health, and community resources and services to met the needs of its small number of residents. Gabe attends a MAPS educational program through the local school district, which also includes mental health counseling and behavioral supports. Academically, Gabe is at a sixth to seventh grade level, and he has made significant gains in his math and verbal skills.
While Gabe has come a long way, his support system will need to continue to include the level of services he currently enjoys, and which are giving him the opportunities he needs to reach his full potential. Hopefully, Gabe’s journey of personal growth will be an ongoing process in the care of a committed, nurturing, and experienced adoptive family.
Gabe has a variety of interests he would love to share with his adoptive parent(s). A few years ago, he participated in a culinary arts program which really captured his imagination and enthusiasm. His interest is such that he plans to pursue training for a career in culinary arts once he’s out of school. Gabe loves creating new dishes, such as his Fettuccini Alfredo with tomatoes, which has become one of his signature dishes. Becoming a cook or support person in a restaurant is a vocation in which Gabe could excel. Currently, he enjoys working in the school café. Among Gabe’s other interests are sports (especially football and basketball, and given his height, which is well over six feet, he could be a natural on the basketball court). Gabe also enjoys skateboarding, bike riding, walking, playing video and card games, reading (he’s a big fan of sci-fi), and being out in the community. He likes to feel involved in whatever activities are going on around him.
Gabe is accustomed to living and going to school in highly structured environments, and he wants and expects to have clear rules and expectations, and rewards for good behavior. Fortunately, rewards and privileges are great motivators for Gabe.
In his counseling program, Gabe is focusing on developing behavioral tools and strategies to moderate his mood swings and to manage his impulsiveness – two areas that continue to be challenging. Adoptive parent(s) who are innovative thinkers, open and willing to try new approaches to guiding and parenting Gabe, will meet his needs best. It would be very helpful for them to have a strong repertoire of behavioral tools and strategies to bring to parenting Gabe. It could also be valuable for his adoptive folks to have a behavioral therapist as part of their support system, as well as good respite care available from among family, friends, or the community. Gabe will be counting on his adoptive folks to help him continue to have contact with his grandparents through phone calls, letters, and summer visits.
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.
This "profile" is copyrighted. Except for your own private use, you may not copy, modify, reword or reproduce this profile in any way without express permission from Northwest Resource Associates.