Today (3/23/2016) I observed four intakes of all different people in all different predicaments, all of different backgrounds. A client came in today that really touched my heart. A woman in her thirties came in with a little girl around my oldest son’s age, I assumed this little princess was her daughter because of the age of the woman. The woman and child were called in by Donna for an intake and I was given the opportunity to observe this intake. This woman expressed that she was in need of furniture, clothing and housewares, she explained that this little girl was her granddaughter and she has had temporary custody of her since December because the little girl’s parents are incarcerated awaiting trial. I asked when the little girl’s birthday is and the grandmother stated that her birthday just passed in December. How sad is it that this little girl lost both of her parents in the same month as her third birthday - my heart literally broke for this child.
The mother is living in poverty and now since taking responsibility of her three year old granddaughter the financial burden has since increased. At one point the woman was asked whether she had a sofa and she put her head down and did not make eye contact and said “I’m ashamed but I found one outside on the curb and I brought it upstairs for us." At that point I wanted to reach out to the woman and let her know that things will get better and she should not be ashamed for doing what she needs to do for the comfort of her family. This situation directly ties into foster care and how grandparents are left with the financial and emotional responsibility of taking in their grandchildren when the parents are incapable of doing so. This woman is struggling to make ends meet and takes the bus every day to New Haven to assure that her grandchild still makes it to preschool on a daily basis. Poverty is a real issue plaguing people all over America and in our city and unfortunately the ones who are in the greatest need are the ones who need the most help. As social workers and community advocates it is imperative that we find out what issues transpire in our community and bring awareness to those issues so resources and solutions can be readily available.Roxanne,