Marly is a Child First Clinical Supervisor with Easterseals UCP. She recently shared a memory of one of her first cases where a dad, who spoke limited English, was referred to our program. Born in Colombia, Marly could identify with the family’s culture and looked forward to helping them.
Marly shares her story of impact. The 5-year old daughter was demonstrating aggressive behavior caused by her parent’s separation and custody disagreements. In addition, her mom was experiencing temporary homelessness because of a hurricane and provided a lack of adult supervision. As a result, the daughter cried easily, was jumpy and took several days to recover after returning from her mother’s house. The father was comfortable in sharing his culture and childhood experiences with Marly, who could relate with Dad just wanting to be a good father.
During sessions, the team observed that the child and her father engaged very easily. Marly encouraged culturally-relevant exploration like cooking traditional Mexican meals together. Dad was receptive to the team’s guidance and the team also gave the daughter space to process her challenging experiences related to her parent’s separation and feelings of insecurity.
“I remember the break through! During a session, the daughter pretended there was a monster who continually disappeared and came back. She allowed the father to capture the monster and put it in a corner. This happened several times,” Marly observed. “Then at one session, she said the monster was gone and finally allowed her dad to place it in the trash.”
Marly continued, “The way Dad delighted in his daughter was beautiful to see! He began to better understand his daughter’s feelings and how to foster a sense of security in spite of their weekly separations. After working with the Child First team, his daughter cried less and no longer required ‘warm up’ periods when she returned to her dad’s home.”
Marly further recalled how she helped the dad find toys and books written in Spanish. The Child First team also connected Dad to educational resources and legal support for help with his custody case.
“In the end, Dad was pleased with our services, his daughter’s progress and their renewed relationship. For me, it was rewarding to hear the child say she loved school and playing with her dad. It was also great to see the child’s changes in just eight months.” said Marly. “Their family reminds me of my own family and it was really a privilege to support them. That first case continues to motivate me in working with other families.”
Learn more about our Child First services here.
About Easterseals UCP
Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia is a trustworthy, compassionate partner providing exceptional disability and behavioral health services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,300 member team provides more than 9 million hours of meaningful support to 22,000 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home and community locations.