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Recovery road less bumpy for Eric, family

May 10, 2013
Eric with grandparents Pam and Peter

Eric with grandparents Pam and Peter

Pam’s seen quite a bit. So has her grandson, Eric.

Just 12 years old, Eric is on his way toward success. Part of this success can be attributed to changes in the home. Another part of his success can be attributed to Youth Villages Family Counselor Cindy Swartz, who worked with the family.

Eric’s grandparents, Pam and Peter, adopted many children over the years, and are now raising some of their children’s children.

“We always wanted to adopt,” Pam said. “I had an aunt who adopted children and they were my cousins.”

Eric’s early years were very unsettled, and it resulted in behavior issues. When he came to Pam and Peter’s home, his older siblings quietly gave him the message that they didn’t want him there.

“Eric wanted to be liked,” Pam said.

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) has been demonstrated to be successful in helping young people ages 12 to 17 who display serious antisocial behaviors and are at risk of placement out of the home due to their behaviors.

One of the younger children in the home referred to Cindy as “our Cindy,” as she visited the home three times a week, sometimes more. Pam said it helped having Cindy to speak with concerning certain issues.

“It made a huge difference to have her suggest solutions and talk through things,” Pam said.

Eric felt left out when he was younger, and he needed help dealing with that. But after working with Cindy, the tension in the home eased. Eric began pursuing positive interests – he enjoys drawing and reading. Pam and Peter make more time for him, and his school has also made a commitment to helping out.

“It’s nice for them to be able to point out Eric’s positive behavior rather than the negative,” Cindy said. “Eric is very bright and has a lot of potential.”

“We caught him – MST caught him before he went off the cliff,” Pam said. “Before, our concern was on what he was doing that wasn’t OK. Now, our focus is on what he does right. It’s a much better place to be.”

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