Family Time is a program which offers supervised parenting sessions in cases where it may not be safe for one parent to be alone with their children. Most of these cases are court ordered and often related to domestic violence.
Tanya’s situation was a little different; at 3 years old she lived with her dad and got to see her mom for a few hours each week at Catholic Social Services. Tanya’s mother Deana had severe mental health issues and as much as she loved her daughter, was not able to provide a safe environment for Tanya even for an afternoon.
For many families in this situation, Tanya wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with her mother. CSSW staff stayed in the room each week while Tanya and her mother played games and told stories. Once in a while, staff might help mom stay on track and avoid conversations or situations that might seem scary to Tanya. Mom gained confidence as Tanya was thrilled to see her every week.
Last week Tanya didn’t feel good at all, but came to Family Time and ran right into her mother’s arms to be snuggled and comforted. This time of bonding, essential to Tanya’s development, might not seem extraordinary to other families, but for this mother and daughter was a profound milestone that nurtured the spirit and psyche of both. What seems as natural and ordinary as a mother caring for her daughter could not have happened without the safe, secure and supportive environment offered by the Family Time program and their skilled staff.
The limitations of Deana’s ability to safely parent Tanya might never go away, but her influence on Tanya’s future cannot be underestimated. This experience at Family Time offers the best chance of instilling it with a positive and rewarding foundation.
Go home and love your family.”