Each of Ranch Ehrlo’s clients come to us with their own stories. Most have emotional scars; some have physical.
Such was the case with a young boy in the Treatment Foster Care program. His arms are covered in scars – scars he was once ashamed of. With the help of caseworker Kristie Panchuk, the boy has learned to see his scars as something more than something to be embarrassed about.
“When we first started doing casework sessions, he did tell me he was very anxious about (the) scars. He was very upset about those and he didn’t like the way they looked.”
“I just helped him to re-frame that a little bit – I said, ‘let’s call them tiger stripes!’ because it means you survived something and you’re very strong. Lions and tigers are very strong and powerful creatures.”
“When I said that to him, he got a very big smile on his face and said, ‘oh yeah – I am brave like a tiger!’”
Today, Kristie says, the youth no longer wears long sleeves all the time or tries to hide the marks on his arms.
“He’s started to view himself as a bit more powerful,” she explained. “He never really mentions the scars anymore as something he’s worried about.”
By applying CARE, Children And Residential Experience, principles that we are implementing across the agency, Kristie, along with the young boy’s foster parents, have been able to work together to help him change his view of himself, which has led to huge improvements throughout his life.
“It’s really wonderful,” Kristie said of his progress.
Through CARE principles, children, youth, adults, families, and employees work together to achieve their full potential.