“A Story from the JDC Storyboard”

Jamar had been in case management services through the Juvenile Drug Court Program for only a few months when he learned that his father passed away. Throughout his life, Jamar had seen his father’s health degrade more and more as he battled a debilitating disease. Although he loved living with his father when he was younger, Jamar was forced to move in with his mother and her boyfriend when his father’s health concerns became too burdensome to parent with.

Jamar’s new home proved to be challenging. At his mother’s home, he and his two sisters were at the mercy of mom’s boyfriends that cycled through the home. And although his mother never harmed him directly, her drug use, unmet mental health needs, and insatiable pull towards abusive men kept her children in constant fear and chaos. Jamar found sanctuary by running to his father’s home when things were at their worst. Eventually, services determined that Jamar and his sisters be removed from the home, but instead of returning to their father, they were placed in foster care.

It took 9 months for Jamar’s mother to leave the man who had abused her children to have her children returned to her. Jamar still refers to this as his mother not being able to choose him over men who abused him.

Jamar had a rough childhood, and has had a difficult life as an adolescent as well. Having services in his home for most of his life has left Jamar untrusting and skeptical of outside services and authority figures. Over time and with relationship building, Jamar has learned to trust his PCMS case manager in drug court. When his father died, he was linked with mental health support and a grief counselor. Now that the relationship is established, Jamar has finally been able to divulge the real problems in his home and discuss his struggles with his mother. After years of trying to protect his family from outsiders, and guard against criticism of his mother, Jamar is reaching out to the resources he has and is learning to cope with his past and life today. We have been privileged to see him grow in character and strength as a young man.

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