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Cody overcomes his past and looks toward a future of promise

September 24, 2012

Miss Beulah and his family intervention specialist, Mindy Fuller, report that Cody has come a long way.

Cody, 12

Cody was able to attend his first Boy Scouts camp recently and looks forward to attending middle school, a long way from myriad residential centers, including Youth Villages’ Center for Intensive Residential Treatment and the Bartlett Campus.

“Cody’s a lot different now,” Mindy said. “He’s able to help out at home and is doing well in school.”

Cody, 12, has lived with his great-grandmother, Miss Beulah, since he was 5. She now has custody of Cody, who exhibited behavior issues from an early age. In addition to being physically and verbally aggressive, Cody coped with a difficult childhood through self-harming behavior, theft, substance abuse, school problems and other legal issues. He’d lash out when he didn’t get his way, whether at home or at school.

For years, Cody has been in and out of residential facilities, but they were ineffective in changing his behavior. Youth Villages seemed to work.

“Since Cody’s residential treatment, we were able to take what he learned from there and implement it in the home,” Mindy said.

And Cody responded positively.

“He gets along with his younger brother much better now,” Miss Beulah said.

“Youth Villages seemed to work best for him. They did more to help him than any other place.”

After Cody discharged from Youth Villages’ Bartlett Campus, he participated in Youth Villages’ Intercept intensive in-home program. Youth Villages’ goal is to return children to a less restrictive environment to continue their progress through intensive in-home services, with their family when possible, or therapeutic foster care when it is not. Intercept provides treatment to troubled children and families in their own homes at times convenient for the families.

All treatment is family-centered and includes strength-based interventions. Our comprehensive treatment approach includes family therapy, mental health treatment for caregivers, parenting skills education, educational interventions, development of positive peer groups, and extensive help for families and children in accessing community resources and long-term, ongoing support.

“Cody missed his family while he was in residential care,” Mindy said. “Sadly, he’s a child who’s been in and out of state custody so much, he knows what it takes to be stable in the home.”

Mindy, partnering with Brandi Jones, Cody’s transitional counselor, established a more structured environment for Cody, including using behavior charts with rules, rewards and consequences. His behavior changed at school, and he learned coping skills such as deep breathing to manage those times when his anger and frustration would formerly get the best of him.

He’s very energetic and strong-willed, which can create its own set of issues, but Cody’s learned to operate in a structured environment. He has chores to do at home, and works at turning his energy toward positive endeavors.

He recently purchased his own bicycle, then fixed it up and painted it himself.

He has a long way to go, but things are in place for Cody to grow and be successful. He’s even thinking about his future.

“I’d like to go in the military,” he said. “That way, I can travel and see other places.”

“Cody’s been through a great deal of trauma in his young life, and it will take some time for him to process and overcome some of those struggles,” Mindy said.

“But Youth Villages has stepped up with positive role models, as well as his scout leaders and his Big Brother.”

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