News and Stories

  • Kids Move From Severe Neglect to Lots of Love

    When Shirlee Bedard’s three adopted children were removed from their biological home, the youngest, who was 14 months old, weighed 16 pounds. Because they had been kept in a closet for long periods of time, they had developed their own kind of language. They knew little about interacting or communicating in the “normal” world, and they lacked ...
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  • A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way

    Sometimes all it takes is encouragement. Shlonda never had much. Then when case manager in SaintA’s Independent Living Services (ILS) program reached out to her, things started to change. Shlonda is 26 and has been with ILS, which helps former foster children achieve successful and independent adult lives, for five years. Her younger sister first became a ...
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  • A Rough Road Led to Getting Her Kids Back

    Trisha bounces her wide-eyed toddler at her dining room table as she talks about being a crack addict. Her house is tidy and the little girl is happy and healthy. Keeping this child, and being reunified with three others, is what drove Trisha ultimately to get clean. That, plus the cocaine was killing her. “It makes you ...
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  • From Tragedy to a Toddler

    Three-year-old Lyle Potter doesn’t stop moving. He’s on the couch, on the floor with the two small dogs, laughing and talking non-stop in his toddler-like way. His hands are covered in green Ninja Turtle gloves that he just got, and his arms are smeared with bits of sticky crispy treats. “What happened last week?” His mother, ...
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  • Caring Program Turns Ed’s Life Around

    Ed was in foster care since he was 2 years old. He bounced through 20 different homes and five different group homes. At age 20, he found SaintA’s Independent Living Services, and his life totally changed. For three years Ed has been a participant in the Supportive Permanent Housing program, which provides housing, the daily needs ...
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  • Setting a Course During a Time of Distress

    Sarah Dobs sees families at a very distressing time in their lives. Negativity and grief are in abundance. Parents and children are confused and emotionally distraught. That’s why she focuses on being empathetic and observing quietly as much as possible. Her job and that of two other Family Services assessors is to reach out to parents after ...
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  • Public Affairs Show Looks at Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

    SaintA President and CEO Teri Zywicki recently was interviewed by WWRS-TV for its community affairs show, Public Report. She discussed SaintA’s programs for young people who age out of foster care, and how the agency helps them to transition successfully to adulthood. To learn more, visit our Independent Living Services page.
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  • An Admission Brings Forgiveness and Understanding

    A soft knock on office doors around SaintA last week was followed by a small boy with big dark eyes meekly entering. “My name is James. And I pulled the fire alarm,” he said. James, who is in SaintA’s Residential care program, was accompanied by his therapist, Chris Kangas, and therapist Intern Ashley Yungwirth. As they watched, James ...
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  • Putting Son Into Child Welfare System Brings Success

    Anthony was a demanding infant, and he started seriously acting up when he was a year and a half. When he was 4, he was diagnosed with ADHD, oppositional/defiant disorder, conduct disorder and mood disorder. A month shy of his 8th birthday, his mother, Tiffany, filed a Child in Need of Protective Services order on her ...
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  • A Lot of Love, and a Lot of Family Bring Success to Foster Kids

    Melvin Lee graduated from high school in 1993 and left for college. “When I came home for Christmas vacation, I had three brothers!” That’s when his mother, Vivian Lee, and her late husband began taking in foster children. “And it’s been a revolving door since then,” he said. Although Melvin, his ex-wife and his four children, his sister ...
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  • View Photos From Rally for Kids on September 27

    Our event at the Harley-Davidson Museum® on September 27 was a success and lot of fun. Thank you to all who joined us and helped support our youths in Independent Living Services.
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  • Active Parenting Turns the Tide

    When Patsy Reedy was asked to attend an Active Parenting Now class through SaintA’s Family Services, she was a bit insulted. Patsy Reedy “I thought, ‘I don’t need no parenting class!’ And this was like being back at school!” But then her case manager, Kimberly Moran, told her to just try it, that it might help her. “I thought, ...
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  • Learning About Life, Family Through Orphan Records

    When Mike Kazmierski started working in maintenance at SaintA, he told his mother about his new job. “Oh, that’s where your grandfather was,” she answered, referring to the old St. Aemilian’s Orphan Asylum. Mike had known his grandfather was an orphan, but he never had many details. He thought this connection to his personal past ...
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  • When the Need Arises, the Team Jumps

    Case workers on Maria Andrade’s team work hard and look forward to getting out of the office for an occasional team retreat. Such was the case recently, on a nice, sunny Friday. Laura Halonen Everyone was ready to go, and some staff already were on their way. Then Maria got word that an 8-year-old child had wandered ...
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  • National Journal Features Story on SaintA Work With Infants, Moms

    Zero to Three, a national peer-reviewed academic journal, features a story in its July 2014 issue on SaintA’s work with the Parents Interacting With Infants (PIWI) program. PIWI seeks to promote better mother-child interaction, to enhance healthy brain development and break the cycle of abuse. Our Independent Living Services brought PIWI last year to a ...
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