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the Winter 2020

barium springs grandfather home Children's Hope Alliance provides hope, health, and healing for children and families across N.C.

Smiling again after abuse

Julie and her mom get help from therapy page 3

Finally finding stability

Child ACTT program helps John page 4

Finding trust and control

Virtual therapy sessions help Shantel page 5

A loving home

Foster parents give Gerrod special care page 6

Celebrating a new family page 7

every journey is different... and we’re committed to walking side-by-side with children and families along the way

PO Box 1, Barium Springs, NC 28010 1-800-320-4157

To our Children’s Hope Alliance,

Hope, Health, and Healing for Generations

Barium Springs, and Grandfather Home family,

The Journey, Winter 2020 Volume 6, Number 4

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you will all find

President & Chief Executive Officer Celeste Dominguez Chief Operating Officer Jason Ainsley Chief Financial Officer Len Jones Chief Development Officer Sarah Gray Chief Information Officer Lakisha Marelli Chief Program Officer Kevin Angell Chief Compliance Officer Kevin Anders Board of Directors Mrs. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Chair Dr. Benjamin G. Klein Mrs. Kimberly Lawrence Mr. Constantine “Costi” Kutteh Mr. Spurgeon Mackie Dr. Laura Skinner Ms. Jean VanNoppen Mr. Teross Young To be added, change your address or unsubcribe from our mailing list, email or call 1-800-320-4157. Children’s Hope Alliance Foundation is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hope Alliance. Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-814-5400. The license is not an endorsement by the State.

opportunities to relax, recharge, and reconnect with family, friends, and colleagues during this special holiday. We live in a complex world that changes continually, but family can be that one variable that provides constant support and structure. This season, the entire team at Children’s Hope Alliance is especially grateful for family and everything that family means to children – the structure, support, and love. This past quarter, the team at Children’s Hope Alliance has continued with providing services virtually for many of our homebased services. Like you, we are looking forward to the day when we can once again give real “high fives” and handshakes, but we remain committed to the health and safety of the children and families. Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), team members are beginning to meet in person, when needed, to provide therapy and support to foster homes and birth families. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories of hope included in this issue of The Journey. Please keep in mind, these are just some of the stories about the excellent work done by our teams to preserve families or bring them back together. As you read these examples of hope, health, and healing, I hope you are able to celebrate with us. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season! Regards,

Celeste Dominguez, President & CEO

F A M I LY - B A S E D S E R V I C E S : O U T P A T I E N T T H E R A P Y Child’s name and photo have been changed for her protection, but her story is very real.

JULIE, age 6

Learning to smile again after abuse Julie is a beautiful child. Her auburn hair frames a face that radiates the pure joy of a young child whenever she’s doing something she loves. But she stopped smiling about a year ago – that’s when it all started. Her mother had boyfriends off and on, but Nick was different. At first, Julie thought he was O.K. She was just four years old, and he was friendly and made her giggle. After a while, though, he started to play games she didn’t like. “Grown-up Games” he would call them. And then he would touch her in places that made her feel uncomfortable.

but she didn’t understand what had happened to her, or why, and she felt angry all the time. She wouldn’t listen, she would yell, and she would argue. Julie’s mom knew she and her daughter needed help.

When her mother found out what was happening, Julie and her mom moved out of their house to stay with Aunt Mary. Julie felt safe at Aunt Mary’s house,

Today, Julie is settled, happy, and radiating pure joy once again. She has a brilliant memory. She loves playing with toys and games. She is always smiling.

Just as kindergarten was starting, Julie visited one of the therapists at Children’s Hope Alliance. That’s when Julie started to smile again. The therapist didn’t only help Julie understand and manage her angry feelings, but she helped Julie’s mother improve her parenting skills.


F A M I LY - B A S E D S E R V I C E S : C H I L D A C T T

Finally finding stability

JOHN age 16 Sixteen-year-old John left his home and his birth parents many years ago. His parents struggled with addiction, and he suffered from neglect as a result. He and his siblings were placed in a foster home, and things seemed to go well at first. However, as time went on, John began to struggle with his trauma history, mental health, substance use, and aggression that stemmed from his early childhood experiences. He was moved from group home to group home. After years of bouncing around, John was referred for services from CHA’s Child-Focused Assertive Community Treatment Team (Child ACTT). At the same time, he arrived at another foster home. Thanks to the support of the Child ACT team and the help they provided, which included therapy to address trauma-related symptoms and past drug use, John was able to find a stable home after years of moving from place to place. Today, John has completed his work with the Child ACTT team, and he simply receives regular therapy once a week. He’s enrolled in a GED program at his local community college, he’s looking forward to getting a job, and wants to continue living with his foster family. Child’s name and photo have been changed for his protection, but his story is very real.

What is Child ACTT?
 Child ACTT (Child-Focused Assertive Community Treatment Team) is a unique science and technology-based, family-focused service with the mission to heal hurting children in their own homes and communities. Services are currently available to children, ages 12-18, who are at risk of being removed from their homes to go to a group home or hospital. The programs provide the following services: n Individual & Family Therapy n Health & Wellness Coaching n Psychiatry & Medication Management n Care Coordination n Crisis Management n Enhanced Safety Planning n Secure video & text messaging through new CHA Lifetiles App For more information about this program, call Michelle Benton at (704) 832-5567 or email

F A M I LY - B A S E D S E R V I C E S : I N T E N S I V E I N - H O M E

Finding trust and control — virtually How do our therapists and caseworkers build good relationships with new children and families at a time when in-person services aren’t always possible? Our Intensive In-Home (IIH) program has some answers – especially with children like Shantel, who has a difficult time trusting adults. As the IIH team started working with Shantel and her family, they knew the first step was to build a sense of trust with her before they could really tackle the 9-year-old girl’s verbal and physical aggression toward peers and authority figures. During the first virtual sessions with Shantel, the team used games to help lay the foundation for their future work. And this simple step yielded fantastic results: she started to trust them. After a few sessions of games and get-to-know-you activities, the team found that Shantel was willing to share her feelings, talk through her emotions, and work on the coping skills she needed to be able to control the anger and aggression instead of allowing those feelings and emotions to control her. Child’s name and photo have been changed for her protection, but her story is very real.

With social isolation and lack of access to services caused by COVID-19, there has been an increase in the prevalence of mental health issues in children and their parents.

SHANTEL, age 9

Nearly 1 in 6 adolescents aged 12-17 experienced a major depressive episode in the last year. More than half of these adolescents did not receive treatment. During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. More than 1 in 3 adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 1 in 10 last year. Sources: SAMSHA, JAMA Network, Center for Disease Control (CDC), KFF analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Pulse Survey 2020


A loving home Gerrod starts each morning with a transfer to his wheelchair. He has intense physical needs, as well as special needs. He requires a wheelchair for mobility and has to be monitored almost constantly for his own safety. These demanding needs presented challenges far too great for his birth mother, who had struggles of her own. As a result, six years ago, Gerrod was removed from his mother’s care and placed into one of our foster homes. In his new home, his foster parents provided him with the patience and flexibility he so desperately needed.

GERROD, age 12 Child’s name and photo have been changed for his protection, but his story is very real.

Today, Gerrod is an active, energetic 12-year-old. He loves to play and interact with other children his age. And best of all, his foster parents love him unconditionally. They have dedicated themselves to caring for him, meeting his needs, and providing a supportive home for as long as needed.

Over 3,600 NC teens are in need of foster parents.


Be a foster parent.


Celebrating one of our newest Adoptive Families Introducing the Williams family of four! Leonza and Moriah Williams started their Foster-toAdopt journey in July 2019. The following September, their journey took off when brother and sister, Aaron and Kaneddia, were placed in their loving care. Through many ups and downs, Moriah and Leonza remained committed as foster parents, attended training sessions, and used the Teaching Family Model in their parenting approach. In fact, Moriah and Leonza not only used the Teaching Family Model, they developed creative approaches like hosting family game nights designed to help Aaron and Kaneddia remember what they had learned. And while the kids were learning, so was Leonza. Not only was he a new foster parent, along with his wife Moriah, but he was a graduate student while maintaining a full-time job. Through many

sleepless nights studying, working during the day, being a father, and a husband to his wife, he finally made it. Leonza earned his Masters Degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke this summer. Moriah and Leonza will agree, that while earning his degree was an accomplishment, the highlight of their journey was October 12, 2020, when the adoption of Aaron and Kaneddia Williams was finalized.


What legacy will you leave?

Create your legacy with a Named Endowment and make a difference in the lives of hurting children and families. We can help you make a gift that creates a legacy of remembrance for you and your loved ones. The purpose of a Named Endowment fund is to financially sustain the mission and work of our organization. The principal of your endowment is kept intact and only the annual earnings, typically income and a portion of the capital growth, are used to fund current needs. Your named endowment will ensure that we can carry on our important work in the years to come. Your gift will be maintained in perpetuity and make a lasting, meaningful difference. And, it will grow to become a permanent legacy of support for our good work. There are several ways in which you can make an endowment gift either today or as part of your estate plan.

For more information, please contact Sarah Gray, Chief Development Officer 704-872-4157 or

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