Vicente’s mother struggled to take care of her son as she found herself lost in a cycle of abusive relationships, and Vicente was removed from her care right before his fourth birthday. Despite their tumultuous life, Vicente missed his mother immensely, and his seemingly willful defiance and aggressive behavior resulted in his removal from three foster homes that first year.

Consequently, his social worker referred him to a specialized program at Uplift Family Services designed to stabilize high-needs foster children, which included training for Vicente’s caregivers and teachers on how trauma impacts brain development in young children. With a balance of patience, structure, and nurturing support for Vicente, he was able to gain control over his emotions and behaviors. Concurrently, his team discovered that his mother had persevered in stabilizing her own life, so they helped her slowly re-establish her bond with Vicente, and in the end, they were reunified.

Says Vicente, “I haven’t been happier since forever!”