A Journey of Healing with the Nā ‘Ohana Pūlama program
Jenny had a tough start in life due to early childhood trauma and prenatal drug exposure before she was adopted into a loving family. Despite the support, Jenny had difficulty controlling her emotions, impulses, and forming stable relationships. Her challenging behavior became a safety concern for her family, who were overwhelmed and didn’t know how to help her.
As a young teen, she was referred Catholic Charities Hawaii’s (CCH) Nā ‘Ohana Pūlama program, which provides therapeutic foster care for emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth. Jenny was placed transitional family home, a foster home that specializes in helping young people with intensive mental health needs.
Her foster parents, Lei and Scott, not only welcomed Jenny, but also her mom, Joyce, into their family. A CCH therapist worked to build trust between Joyce and Lei by facilitating discussions and activities between the two. Jenny’s mom began to join the family for dinner and family outings. When Jenny would struggle, Lei and Joyce would work together to come up with a solution, and Jenny always knew that both of her “moms” were working together on her behalf. Little by little, Jenny made progress and her relationship with her family improved dramatically.
Today, as a young adult, she still has challenges, but she is in college, supporting herself, and has a network of friends and family who love and support her. With the help of Catholic Charities Hawai‘i and her committed parents and foster parents, Jenny has overcome incredible odds and developed a stable foundation to reach her potential.