Millage Recipient Profile - D.A. Blodgett - St. John's

D.A. Blodgett – St. Johns is part of the Ready by Five Provider Network.

“The attachment and bond of a child to a caregiver is crucial as it sets the tone for so many aspects of that child’s life – social, emotional, physical. We are proud of the work we do in Early Childhood Attachment and are grateful for the opportunity to enhance and expand these services for families of Kent County,” said Ben Brower, Family Preservation Director for D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s.

Below is Arthur’s story, which illustrates how families benefit from Early Childhood Attachment (ECA) services, provided by D.A. Blodgett St. John’s. Thanks to the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage, D.A. Blodgett – St. Johns will be able to expand its ECA services to reach many more families in Kent County.

Arthur came into foster care when he was eight months old. Prior to that, Arthur was unable to rely on adults to care for him, due to difficult circumstances at home. He struggled with food insecurities, didn’t sleep well, and avoided interacting with adults. Arthur was diagnosed with insecure attachment.

Children who are insecurely attached have learned that adults are not reliable and do not trust easily. At 14 months old, Arthur was referred to D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s ECA Services. When services began, Arthur did not behave as a typical 14-month-old. He preferred time alone, did not seek his foster parents for comfort or affection, and he continued to struggle with sleep and food insecurity.

Through ECA services, Arthur’s foster parents learned about trauma, attachment, and behavior. With the assistance of their therapist, Arthur’s foster parents found strategies to help build Arthur’s trust and develop a healthy attachment. Over time, Arthur’s food insecurity decreased. He started sleeping better and began to enjoy interacting with his foster parents. He even started accepting affection from them and eventually initiated it. Arthur was beginning to trust.

Arthur transitioned from his foster home into the care of an adoptive family. Arthur’s ECA therapist continued to provide services throughout the transition and for several months after Arthur was placed in his adoptive home. This transition was difficult, and Arthur experienced some regression. However, through the diligent efforts of his adoptive parents, they gradually built a relationship. Now, Arthur’s adoption has been finalized, and he is thriving and doing well.

Arthur’s mother, Melanie, said the following about their family’s participation in ECA services: “The DABSJ therapy program helped our son overcome many of the challenges that came from his early traumatic experiences. Our caseworker offered one-on-one therapy with our family that helped us meet our monthly goals to improve our son’s attachment issues through specialized parenting techniques.”

Early Childhood Attachment is just one of the programs DABSJ provides. The organization also offers counseling, foster care, adoption, mentoring, and residential care. Each service is different, but all share a common thread – life-changing love.

D.A. Blodgett provides more than 20 services, impact 9,000 lives every year, and work tirelessly to ensure all children and families have the love, support, and resources they need to thrive – today and into the future. Learn more at www.dabsj.org