Phone 704-372-4663

Author: Kamaria Clifton

B is 18 years old, only months out of 3 years of foster care. She had been sexually molested by her father for 11 years when authorities became aware of the horrific situation and DSS took her into their custody. Her mother was institutionalized in a mental hospital. When she was referred to the FCS maternity program, B was homeless , had been going days with very little food to eat, had not gotten prenatal care, and had been arrested for theft and forgery. During her stay, she received food, shelter, good prenatal care, counseling, and parenting classes. B delivered a healthy baby, and went to live with the father of her baby who successfully secured employment and housing and could provide a safe environment for B and their baby.

This email was sent out to FCS staff today by our Residential Coordinator:

As most of you know, clients are asked to complete a consumer survey when they discharge from the agency. I want to share some of the feedback from one of the ladies who just discharged this week:

“Thanks for helping me all the staff and being here for me and even calling me out on my own mistakes and making me want to be a better me and a better mommy”

Just wanted to share this reminder of how important our mission is and how important each of you are in making this mission a reality for this young lady.

Miracle Kick

You kick, and everything gets better. You bring love and joy to myself and everyone that comes in contact with you.

You kick, and I don’t remember all the negative things that the doctor told me. You are strong. I can feel it, and together we will over come anything.

You kick, and my dad calls and asks for us to work on having a relationship that was never there.

You kick, and your father decides to go to school and get on when everyone had stopped believing in him. You make him new and I see that. I love you, and don’t have to say anything. Its visible through your eyes. The both of you have a relationship that makes me happy and jealous.

You kick, and the world becomes a better place. You are a miracle and I’m honored to have you living inside me.

Written by former FCS client.

E was 24 years old and homeless when she entered FCS. She had been removed from her birth parents’ custody when she was an infant because of her parents’ drug abuse and domestic violence. She lived in foster care for the next 5 years before she was adopted. E is developmentally limited. She was gang raped by 6 men when she was 17 and had reoccurring nightmares about that attack. She dropped out of high school in 9th grade, suffered from depression and began to abuse drugs. She entered the Maternity Program reporting that she had stopped doing drugs but was having seizures and bad headaches, and on the Maternity Program’s admission for she wrote she had “no home.” E became an active participant in the Maternity Program. Her life situation stabilized and she stayed clean and sober. She ate regular meals, started keeping her room clean, and began to sleep well. She went to special school classes to help her prepare for taking her GED, and attended counseling sessions, substance abuse prevention/intervention groups, and in-house class sessions to learn parenting skills and early child development. She had been at FCS for 5 full months when her baby was born, drug free and healthy, and weighed 8lbs. and 11ozs. E released her healthy baby for adoption and reestablished a connection with her adoptive parents.

L was 13 years old when she was admitted to the maternity program last June. She remains in DSS custody due to the incarceration of both of her parents, as well as her maternal aunt and her brother. L’s mother and brother are both addicts. The brother is serving time for assaulting L while becoming enraged under the influence of narcotics. On the day that she was admitted, we took her to the emergency room to have staples removed from the head injury. She has had to testify in court and struggles with feeling responsible for his incarceration. L had been “home schooled” by her mother, but has made a successful transition to public school. She responds well to our structured and stable environment. She is well-behaved, compliant and respectful. She enjoys spending time in our vocational lab and hanging out with her friends. Despite her young age, she is a very nurturing mother to her son, and she loves to learn all that she can about parenting. She just turned 14 years old.

Today is the day of FCS’s annual plant sale. Our amazing volunteers from the FCS Auxiliary host this sale every year and all of the proceeds go towards our scholarship program. Past and present residents from FCS are able to apply for scholarships to receive funding for secondary education. They have helped countless women go through college. We are honored to have the FCS Auxiliary supporting us and our residents in such a profound way. This is just one more example of not only our comprehensive services, but also our compassion and dedication to our clients’ success.

For more information on how to join our Auxiliary please click the link below.

Volunteer Positions & Opportunities

One more healthy baby born last night!

Please congratulate J!! She welcomed her newborn son last night at 8:35. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 13 oz., with a length of 19 inches.

J, sends her thanks and says that she already misses everyone. I am certain, she will be missed…particularly the Kitchen staff, since she was a very good and helpful “dishwasher”!!! Thank you to everyone who had a part in making certain J felt welcomed here throughout her stay.

Thanks….

LilyAnn
Maternity Program Case Manager

“THANK YOU” …this expression of appreciation was voiced on many occasions by S, who entered the Maternity Program from a Shelter where she had been living after her situation with her boyfriend became unsafe. She was 24 years old, and a recently “clean” drug addict. While she was in the Maternity Program, S received intensive individual counseling, support through the CASCADES program (substance abuse treatment for women), and medical care. S’s words of thanks were also directed to agencies to which she was referred by FCS – Crisis Assistance Ministry and DSS. These agencies helped her to secure furniture (including a washer and a dryer) so that she could set up her apartment. Due to the appropriateness of her behavior and the active pursuit of her goals, FCS staff worked together to provide her with necessary items to fully furnish her home, and many items for her baby. S entered and completed a local Culinary Arts Program. This opportunity was a long-time dream for S, and the Florence Crittenton Staff believe she will be a very productive and positive member of the community as a result of her participation in the Maternity Program.

Volunteering at FCS is such a personal and unique experience. No matter what your expertise or passion, there is a place for you at FCS.

Today, I joined a wonderful group of women. They call themselves the “Knitwits” and they get together and knit baby items for our mom’s to be at Florence Crittenton. Not only did I have the opportunity to further explain all of the amazing things going on at FCS, I was able to meet these knitting machines. It was inspiring to see them knitting away for our babies while asking how they can help even further.

I hope to see many of them for our Annual Luncheon on May 7th at Myers Park Methodist Church.

For information on other ways you can get involved, please check out our website below.

Giving

My life was less than perfect growing up, and I add no blame to my parents for that. I was like most teenagers; I thought I knew everything there was to know about life even though I had barely experienced it. I felt like I was invincible, and walked around acting like life owed me excitement and thrills without consequence. Life, however, did not meet my expectations. It was during the summer of July 2008 that I got a rude awakening. I was pregnant, and the future I hadn’t even got a chance to live was over, or so it would appear at the time.

Contrary to society’s belief that all teenage pregnancies end in disaster, I knew my pregnancy was saving me from one. My ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) philosophy had been taking me down a road I would have never survived. Somehow, the thought of having life growing inside me rewired my way of thinking, and life was no longer about satisfying my own selfish desires. The very thing that most people thought would destroy me is the very thing that ended up saving me. It was like my unborn child was subconsciously challenging me, driving me to rise above the statistics that the world has laid out for me.

At the time, the thought of achieving that seemed impossible. I questioned myself and my capabilities. What success could a 17-year-old drop out have at raising a child? I had never even had a job before, and could barely manage to keep my room clean. The odds seemed to be stacked against me, but I didn’t have time for a pity party. If I was ever going to make a life for me and my child I had to come up with a plan. There were two things that I knew absolutely had to be done if I was going to prove that I was serious about becoming a mother. First, I needed to change my setting, my lifestyle and my habits, and then I needed to get back in school. I knew working would be a necessity and that a G.E.D (General education Diploma) would be better than no diploma.

It was hard not to become overwhelmed. I knew what I had to do, but was clueless about how or where to begin. It was through Florence Crittenton Services, that I finally found my footing. This organization would provide the jumpstart I needed to establish myself. The constant care, diligence (and sometimes nagging) I received kept me focused on what was most important. I made it my priority to study for my G.E.D every chance I got, and surrounded myself around other positive moms who were hopeful about their future. Within fifty day, or less, I was able to complete and pass all my exams on the first try.

I can’t quite explain the feeling I felt when I received my diploma on my 18th birthday. I kept it close, as if it were a life source, which in many ways it was. It was a reminder of what hard work and determination can get you. By the end of my stay, at FCS, I had managed to receive a certificate in banking and customer service, and even make a few good friends out of other mothers who lived there.

There have been many things I have accomplished since leaving FCS. The main thing, raising my daughter with the love and diligence all children deserve. My life is, by no means, a fairytale. I have had some good days as well as bad. I have still made my share of mistakes, and learned from them. I have shed many tears since those past four year, and will probably shed many more. I have lost friends, and even at times lost faith, but if anyone asked me if I felt successful I would hold my head high and answer “yes”. It is through my hardships and struggles that I have learned that success first begins in the mind. Every day I push pass my insecurity’s, and continue to work towards achieving my goals, is a day I have been successful.

Having a child young did not put a stop to my life; it simply turned a new chapter in it.

Kimberly R.
April 5, 2013
Florence Crittenton Services