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Sara Can

Sara* had suffered past trauma which began to display itself through verbal and physical aggression. This made it impossible for her to receive services through her home school district. These barriers made it difficult for Sara to build peer relationships or participate in any activities outside of the home. To attempt to diminish these hurdles for Sara, her school district and family made the decision to enroll her at the Heartland Family Service One Oak school.

When Sara began her time at One Oak, she had been diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She was unable to sit in classroom for prolonged periods of time without displaying aggression or withdrawing for hours at a time.

Sara began to work with a therapist and participated in the Heartland Family Service Mental Health Counseling, including group therapy, yoga, and play therapy. Through these treatments and groups, she was able to rebuild trust and started to believe in herself again.

After slowly beginning to spend more time in the classroom, support coaches and special education teachers helped Sara develop skills to become successful in her educational journey. She even began to develop friendships, which increased her self-esteem and reduced her depression and aggressive behaviors.

Once she saw the success of being able to build friendships and understand her emotions, Sara expressed the desire to return to her home school district. The transition plan was developed, introducing more time at her traditional school.

With time, energy, and support from staff and from Sara, she was able to return to her home school district full-time and has built many peer relationships. She completed individual and group therapy as well as social skills groups while at One Oak.

With the help of Heartland Family Service services and staff who worked hand and hand with her, now Sara Can.

* To protect our client’s rights, the client has been de-identified in this story. The photo is not a picture of our client.

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While Heartland Family Service aims for this community of opportunity, using it to guide our plans and actions, we know that there will always be someone in need, and those needs are always evolving.

Our work, both on the individual and systemic level, is never done.

That’s why we are inviting our entire community to share this vision — because a world where everyone can needs everyone’s unflinching support. Our client base is not lacking. Our staff is skilled and ready. Now, you can help us expand possibilities.

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