When Ariel was in kindergarten, her mother passed away from cancer. Ryan had to raise Ariel as a single parent, but he was also a workaholic. He owned and ran a small business, juggling work while raising a child. When his stress mounted into physical abuse, Ariel was removed from their home. She was placed in foster care before beginning therapeutic visitation sessions with her father through Catholic Charities’ Kindred Souls program.
Kindred Souls provided a safe space where they became comfortable visiting and communicating with one another without judgment of their past. At first, Ariel would often break down and cry. Their social worker helped them to discuss difficult issues in a gentle and supportive way. Over time, Ariel felt safer during visits and began to open up about her feelings. To her surprise, her father did not get mad and was supportive. She was finally able to tell him her biggest fear – she was afraid that he didn’t want her to go back home with him. They were both finally able to express that they really did want to reunite.
Ariel and her dad began sharing their favorite country songs with each other, playing Jenga and Connect 4, and reminiscing about Ariel’s mother. Ryan also became supportive of her foster mom and was able to develop a collaborative relationship with her. When they met in the lobby for the first time, Ryan said, “Thank you so much for what you are doing for my daughter.” Like co-parents, they navigated some of the issues that came up during visits to better support Ariel. Today, Ariel is back home with her dad.
Kindred Souls offers therapeutic visitations as families work towards reunification. To learn more about our Kindred Souls program, please contact Jennifer Solomon, Clinical Supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.