Tierra, 15, and her mom, Yolanda, always loved each other. But today, after nearly losing each other for good, their relationship is stronger than ever.
Yolanda was in an unhealthy relationship fueled by substance abuse. It ended when Yolanda was arrested.
Tierra was placed with an older sister who couldn’t care for her. Tierra’s father stepped up to help, but their relationship soon soured, and Tierra ended up in a group home after her father accused her of aggression.
Yolanda desperately wanted her daughter back. The family’s guardian ad litem recommended Youth Villages. Working closely with her Youth Villages Intercept specialist, Yolanda made a plan to regain -- and keep -- custody of Tierra. Together, they worked rebuilding the broken relationship between mother and daughter, helping them learn to communicate with each other without getting into arguments or altercations. Role plays helped Tierra and Yolanda to understand each other better, laying the foundation for a more harmonious and trusting relationship. They also worked intensively on parenting skills, parental consistency, a set of rewards and consequences and household rules.
The biggest barrier to reunification was Yolanda’s inability to visit her daughter and bring her home for weekend passes. Reliant on public transportation, she could not reach the group home located miles outside of Tampa, Fla.
Yolanda’s Youth Villages Intercept specialist came up with a plan; she and her team committed to providing transportation for Yolanda to visit her daughter, and to picking up and driving Tierra home every weekend for home passes, so the mom and daughter could complete their reunification plan more quickly. The day she completed ninth grade, Tierra finally went home to her mom.
Mother and daughter now walk to school together every morning. It’s a time they use to talk. More than before, they cherish spending time together, visiting family, getting their nails done, shopping and boiling crab.