06.09.2017

The Wearhouse Makes the Difference

By Jill Burch, Washington DSHS Social Worker

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As a social worker in Washington, I help get youth in foster care connect to the services and resources in the community, including Treehouse.

A family of three siblings were recently placed on my caseload after they entered foster care. They have been having a difficult time trying to adjust to their situation, especially when it comes to visitation with their birth parents. On the drive to our weekly visits, there are always lots of laughs and smiles. But on the way back, they are often very quiet or in tears. I try so hard to remind them that it is my job to do the worrying and not theirs.  I also remind them that I’ll make sure that they are safe and that they have everything that they need. I can always get them to smile and give hugs before I tell them goodbye, but it can be tough to see them so upset.

On a recent trip, the kids were particularly sad. They wanted to stay with their mom and dad at the visiting center.  It broke my heart that we had to leave, and they cried themselves to sleep on the way back from to their foster home.

When we arrived back at their foster home and walked into the kitchen, their moods instantly changed. Their foster mom had been to the Treehouse Wearhouse while we were out, and she had placed everything she picked up for the kids on the kitchen table. Their eyes lit up when they saw the new shoes, clothing, and toys. One of the kids even asked me if it was Christmas! They really could not believe the new items were theirs to keep.

I have never seen happier kids, and that is because of Treehouse!  I want to thank you for how special you made these kids feel on such a hard day, and for all you do to partner with social workers to support youth in foster care.

 

You can support The Wearhouse, Treehouse’s free store for youth in foster care, by donating new or gently used clothing or by volunteering

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About the Author

As a dedicated Social  Worker at the Washington Department of Children’s Administration, Jill Burch, is dedicated to ensuring the safety, permanence and well-being of our community’s youth in foster care.  She partners with Treehouse to ensure that the foster youth on her caseload have access to the the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.


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