Skip to content

Finding the common bond, Mom and daughter work together

April 6, 2011

Mother and daughter couldn’t be more different. Over the years, it began to take its toll.

Amy is high-energy, always talking and moving. She’s independent, smart and curious as well, which leads to being distracted easily. It makes sitting, listening and communicating a challenge. Amy’s in the 11th grade now, and enjoys writing and art. She creates bead necklaces and bracelets, a hobby that allows her to focus and become less distracted.

Youth Villages Family Intervention Specialist Rebekah Huggins, right, worked with Rhonda, left, and Amy to find common ground and create a stable home.

Her mother, Rhonda, is very methodical and deliberate. At home caring for two daughters and a family member left Rhonda with a lot to do at the end of the day, and the stress load began to fray the edges. She couldn’t communicate with Amy. As Rhonda withdrew, Amy began to act out more.

Amy experimented with drugs. She ran away from home. She yelled and threw things. She threatened to harm herself and others. On probation for truancy, Amy was referred to Youth Villages’ Intercept intensive in-home services program.

“I saw a family who was under intense pressure,” Family Intervention Specialist Rebekah Huggins said. “I also saw a lot of external things adding to their issues. But I saw a family.”


Amy was placed in foster care, so Rebekah met a few times each week with mother and daughter separately. She made a fast bond with both.

“I was angry at the world, but it was easy to talk to Rebekah,” Amy said. “She supported my jewelry-making and wasn’t judgmental.”

Both mom and daughter needed time to find their common bond.

Rhonda admits the time period was a true low point for both of them. They weren’t talking – they were yelling.

They had become distant.

During the time Amy was in foster care, Rhonda worked on preparing herself and her home. Much of that meant letting her daughter be herself and find her own way. But it also meant Amy had to meet new requirements and follow rules at home.

“I knew the family had a lot of work to do, but I knew they could both do it,” Rebekah said.

“We worked on setting structure and guidelines in the home that allowed Amy the freedom to pursue her interests, but still be a responsible, contributing member of the family.”

Intercept provides treatment to troubled children and families in their own homes at times convenient for the families.

The program serves a broad population of youth and specializes in helping families safely maintain youth in their home environment. Intercept also focuses on reunification of youth who are in a residential treatment or foster home setting; counselors are skilled at reuniting families even when the child has been out of the home for an extended period.

Rebekah gradually re-introduced mother and daughter. The foster family also helped. As a result, what only a few months before was a family living separately under one roof has changed for the better.

“My part was acknowledging who Amy is and letting her be that,” Rhonda said. “But I also had to let Amy know that there are expectations. She saw that and we now communicate and listen to each other.”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: