At Elk Hill, we help hundreds of children heal and thrive after they’ve suﬀered unimaginable trauma. I want to tell you a story about the courage and resilience of one of these children — a story that has a happy ending, thanks to our donors.
Four-year-old Tim stood alone on the playground, as he did every day. No one ever saw Tim smile, play, or even talk to other children. He seemed to have only two settings: sad and angry. He refused to answer his teachers’ questions about what was bothering him.
Then, Social Services discovered the truth. Tim had been abused physically and sexually in one of the most serious cases investigators had ever encountered. This brave little boy did his best to protect his younger siblings from his father’s violence. He had never learned how to play — he only knew how to survive.
That’s when Elk Hill stepped in. We never, ever give up on a child who needs us! Over the next two years, Tim’s Therapeutic Day Treatment (TDT) counselors helped him develop self-regulation and anger management skills. In social skills groups, Tim practiced playing and building friendships. Elk Hill also assisted the relatives with whom Tim was placed, providing six months of intensive in-home counseling.
Many people assume that Medicaid always covers services like these. The sad truth: It doesn’t. Often, youth are only eligible to receive Medicaid-funded care when they are in crisis — and the moment they begin to make progress, they no longer qualify. Insurance won’t pay for certain programs our children depend on.
That’s why we rely on the generosity and compassion of our donors. Thanks to them, Tim got to attend Elk Hill’s summer camps, where he could play in a safe environment while practicing his social skills. And when Tim’s Medicaid coverage lapsed during his transition to relative placement, donations paid for TDT so Tim’s progress wouldn’t be disrupted.
As Tim’s life stabilized, it became apparent that more intense work was needed to help him progress. The locality said no to funding therapeutic mentoring services — but our supporters said yes! Their gifts enabled Elk Hill to provide three months of unfunded services.
Now six years old, Tim is no longer that wounded child standing alone on the playground. He plays with friends and participates in a local soccer team. He’s able to talk to his therapist about what has happened to him. He uses his words to express his frustration instead of his fists. His family is committed to his success and is confident in their ability to support him.
Elk Hill has been working to shift our services upstream so we can help vulnerable children, like Tim, at a young age. This early intervention strategy diverts children from the path so many of our teenage clients have traveled: school suspensions, alternative school placements, hospitalizations, multiple foster home moves, and involvement with the juvenile justice system.
This work is not easy or quick. It requires the long-term dedication of staff and donors. Will you become an Elk Hill supporter in 2019? Please consider a tax-deductible gift today — or join the Tumaini Society by making a monthly donation. Simply click https://www.elkhill.org/support-us/your-impact/
Remember: Your donation can help a child in need when other funding sources say no. All of us at Elk Hill thank you for your support, and for standing with our youth.
With warm regards,
Michael C. Farley
Chief Executive Officer
P.S.: Tim is expected to complete therapeutic services by the end of this summer! Every time we see his bright smile, we’re so grateful to the donors who made his transformation possible.