• Serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties
September 5, 2011 tanderson

Matched 2 years. The Little is being raise by his Great Grandparents, one of which is bedridden. Mom was in an Alcohol treatment facility for substance abuse when the child came in to the program, and has since only sporadically seen the child when convenient or needing something. The child does not think of her as mom and even calls her by nickname. Dad was in prison for selling drugs at the time the child enrolled. There are other siblings, but the child knows nothing of them nor sees them. The child has been diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-Polar. The match progressed well in the first year as the Big made lots of progress with the little and was able to get him out of the house for basic experiences the child never had (going out to eat, biking, motorcycling, a plane ride, tennis, and visiting the Big’s place of work and getting to know the owner and other staff). There was also marked improvement in the child’s mood swings which diminished a lot over that first year. Year two though has taken a nosedive. At the start of the school year is when the child’s behavior hit the skids. The Little can’t stand school, and won’t attend to the point that many organizations are now involved and truancy concerns have been raised. In the last two months the child has only attended school once per week. The Great Grand Parents are at their wits end and struggling as they are in poor health. Due to the child’s issues, Community Mental Health is getting involved, Child Protective Services is involved, the Families First program is trying to provide transportation to school for the child, and we are keeping the mentoring relationship intact. The child is also now seeing a Special Ed teacher. Meanwhile Adult protective services is involved with the great grandparents to help with their needs. They have provided a hospital bed and power chair in the home for the grandparent who is bedridden. The Big has done all he can to stick with the match despite the child’s growing issues and temper tantrum that even the police can’t wrangle. For a time the child was moved to a facility in Grand Rapids. The Big Brother was the only person who went to visit the child in Grand Rapids because none of the Little’s family would go. The Big has shown exceptional patience with the child and has interacted as best as he can with the grandparents who come from a totally different walk of life. The case manager has had to help the Big along these difficult times and help him understand what is expected of him and to temper some of his desire to jump in and fix everything. The case manager is helped the Big understand that he is not there to make up for the parental deficiencies and helped him focus on what he could do as a Big for the Little. There are still concerns that there is more uncertainty to come in this child’s future. There is a good possibility that the Little could soon be removed from the home and placed in foster care. The Big is still willing to be his big and help navigate through this transition, should it come to be, in order to provide some consistency for the child. Time will tell what happens next for this Little but the agency and the Big will be there to help along the way.