Promise of Childhood

Being a kid seems easy enough, but sometimes childhood is littered with challenges that no child should have to face. At LFCS, we want every Missouri child to experience the innocence of childhood feeling safe and loved.

Joel’s history teacher was concerned. In recent months, he had missed days of school and when he was in class, Joel seemed on edge and disinterested in classroom activities. The previous semester, Joel had been very engaged and had even shared his hopes to attend college to study ancient history. “What happened?” Joel’s teacher thought.

The school counselor was notified and after a conference call with Joel’s father, they all agreed Joel needed to talk to someone. The school counselor recommended Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LFCS) in addition to regular meetings at school.

Joel began meeting with his LFCS therapist weekly. As their relationship developed, his therapist discovered that Joel’s behavior-changes began when he learned about his father’s drug use and criminal activities. This knowledge overwhelmed Joel with fear and anxiety.

A hotline call was made, and following an investigation, Joel’s father was arrested. His grandparents welcomed him into their home, providing Joel with stability and safety he hadn’t felt in nearly a year.  With prescribed mediation and the implementation of communication and coping skills he learned in counseling, Joel’s anxiety and depression were under control.  He soon began to flourish in his new school and environment.

Now 16 years old and driving, Joel feels like he is right where he needs to be.  He passed all of his classes last year and is starting to look at nearby colleges.