Bringing a new child into your home, whether it is a newborn or a teenager, is a challenging transition. Struggling to meet the needs of a child can make a difficult situation worse for everyone involved, and when concerning foster care, can lead to a placement disruption. Canopy Children’s Solutions seeks to support foster families through a variety of ways including our therapeutic foster care program and licensing home studies for families seeking to foster through the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (MDCPS).

Having a strong support base is critical to a successful home and family.

Sondra and husband Garrett had made the courageous decision to open their home to children in need. Hearing about the drastic shortage of loving foster homes through a local Rescue 100 event, Sondra and Garrett knew they were being called to serve. MDCPS connected the couple with Canopy Children’s Solutions to complete their Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) home study. After intensive training, interviews and home visits, Sondra and Garrett were ready to offer refuge to a child in need. It didn’t take long for their phone to ring.

A little red-haired girl named Anna arrived at their doorstep with her two younger siblings. Local authorities had contacted MDCPS following suspicion of abuse concerning Anna. When the children arrived at Sondra and Garrett’s home, authorities weren’t able to give much information about them or their history. Sondra greeted Anna with a smile and a warm embrace as Garrett prepared a safe place for all the children to sleep.

Being foster parents for the first time, Sondra did her best to collect and provide all the things the children needed. The children’s stipends, which are used to purchase clothes, supplies and daily necessities for children in foster care, had not yet arrived and their health insurance had not been enacted. The children had gotten sick several times already and the expenses became overwhelming. In desperation, Sondra reached out to Canopy to find out what she could do. Tammy Miller, South Central Regional Director at Canopy, connected with a local MDCPS supervisor to see what she could find out.

“The supervisor at MDCPS jumped into action,” said Tammy. “Thankfully, it didn’t take long for her to get things worked out for Sondra and the kids.”

A few months later, Sondra returned with Anna to seek out crisis therapy at Canopy’s Behavioral Health Clinic. In the time Anna had lived with her, Sondra learned more about Anna’s traumatic history. Wanting to connect her with the best possible care to begin the healing process, Sondra turned to the place that had helped before in her time of need.

“Sondra was relieved to have Anna here [with Canopy],” said Tammy. “She was happy that Anna was in good hands. Sondra knew from the relationship she had with us, and in helping when Anna first arrived, that we would take good care of them both.”