Reuniting with Grandma

Tomas, age 16
At age 16, Tomas was referred to Lincoln’s Intensive Home-Based Services (IHBS). He was living in a group home, with a goal of reunifying with his grandmother. As a caregiver, Tomas’ grandmother was difficult to engage, and Tomas found it hard to spend time with her for more than a few minutes. In fact, the relationship between the two was so difficult that Child and Family Services was thinking about terminating reunification services. Through the help of an IHBS team, Tomas and his grandmother learned strategies for building a relationship and staying together.

The IHBS team, including a family partner and a community liaison, was assigned to work with Tomas and his grandmother. The family partner worked with the grandmother to reframe her strong voice as a strength and learn to speak with Tomas in a firm but loving tone. She also learned how to allow Tomas space when he needed to calm himself and ways to advocate for the services she needed. 

The community liaison supported Tomas during family therapy sessions, sitting outside to assist him in de-escalating when a session became too difficult for him. He learned to use a numbered scale to state his level of anger and to take space when he needed it to calm himself. Tomas and his grandmother successfully reunified and have remained so for the last four months. Tomas' grandmother now often helps him with effective communication strategies when working with Tomas, and the family has agreed that IHBS is no longer needed.