The F&ST staff learned that Tobi and four siblings lived with their grandmother and rarely saw their mother. While the grandmother was supportive of her grandchildren and open to suggestions for help, she struggled with mental health issues and often felt overwhelmed. In addition, the grandmother was self-conscious about her inability to read. She was assured that this would not be an issue and that she would be supported and learn strategies to cope with the challenges she was experiencing. She joined the program.
As F&ST progressed, Tobi made some significant strides. He listened better, was more attentive, and learned to share in the activities with his siblings and other children.
After a few weeks in the F&ST program, the Team recommended that Tobi and his family join the CAPC Home Visiting Program. Tobi responded well to the staff, built a trusting relationship and looked forward to the home visits. Occasionally Tobi would get frustrated and become stubborn and wouldn’t cooperate, but when confronted about his behaviour, he would listen attentively to the staff, discuss the issue and follow through without an argument. Discussions with Tobi included how to express his feelings in a positive manner and controlling his temper. Since Tobi loved playing with dinosaurs and took great pride in his collection, the staff and Tobi came up with an idea. Tobi was to choose one of his small dinosaurs and place it in his pocket and whenever he felt frustrated, he was to reach in his pocket, feel his dinosaur and think of how safe it felt for his dinosaur. Tobi was thrilled at the thought of having his dinosaur with him. This technique proved to be very effective in calming Tobi and his teacher commented on how well Tobi did on the days he carried his dinosaur in his pocket. Tobi worked very hard at controlling his anger and learned how to express his feelings in a positive manner.
During the home visits the staff brought worksheets, alphabet learning tools, and beginner reader books. Tobi and his grandmother completed the worksheets and reading together. The grandmother spent quality time with her grandson and learned to read at the same time.
The staff also recommended that Tobi attend the CAPC School Readiness Program at a nearby community centre. The oldest child in the program, Tobi assumed the role of being the “big helper.” He took pride in offering a guiding hand, assisting his classmates, and offering his help to the staff in the program. The grandmother enrolled in a nutrition class while Tobi attended the program.
Today, Tobi’s hours at school have increased to full days. It was recommended by the school that Tobi continue with the Home Visiting Program and the School Readiness Program as the programs are a great benefit to Tobi and his family. Tobi continues to participate in both programs as part of his full time schooling.
The Family & Schools Together Program, CAPC Home Visiting Program, CAPC School Readiness Program are all programs sponsored by Carizon and Family Community Services.