Brian first arrived at White Fields in 2009. He was placed in DHS custody due to neglect, physical abuse, and domestic violence in his home. Due to the trauma he experienced as a young child, Brian had many challenging behaviors, including anger, aggression, defiance, and soiling himself daily. Brian had very low self-esteem, was far behind in school, felt little to no trust in other people, and was extremely overweight. While at White Fields, Brian began to process his trauma and form healthy relationships with trusted adults. The adults around him saw that Brian had great potential, as he was a likeable, active, and loyal young man. In 2010, Brian was placed with family members through the tribal child welfare system. While with his family, Brian’s situation and environment deteriorated, and he was placed in state custody again following a physical altercation with his mother. He was also placed on probation for this altercation, and was court-ordered to return to White Fields in 2012. Brian began working through his traumas again, processed family relationships, built new relationships with staff, and began the slow process of growing into a confident, healthy young man. Over the next two years, Brian fully immersed himself in public school, made new friends, joined the football team, continued learning healthy coping skills, and became a leader to his younger peers. Brian no longer soiled himself and lost about 90 pounds. One of the most important parts of his experience at White Fields was his relationship with his mentor. His mentor visited regularly, even when Brian was not welcoming to her and pushed her away, a pattern that is all too common in children who have trouble trusting others. Through her perseverance and Brian’s progress, they formed a strong bond, which eventually led to Brian moving into her home. Brian had difficulty putting many things into words, in part because his culture values different methods of self-expression.
The relationships with staff and mentors facilitates unparalleled healing in our boys that prepares them to live successfully in a family. Our boys have had their parents’ rights terminated and often failed to live successfully, at an average of twenty different homes, due to their extensive abuse and trauma related behaviors. As they heal in our continuum of care model they are placed with forever homes, families that will accept, foster and adopt these boys as their own children and offer a place of stability, love and support that will last well into their adult years. These boys are able to experience a life where they can have the same freedoms and experiences as normal teenagers. As they graduate high school and prepare to enter the adult world at the age of 18, their families stay right beside them, exhorting them to reach their potential and picking them up when they stumble. Without their support our boys are statistically destined to end up in prison or in mental health facilities for most of their adult lives. Through our boys, staff and mentors, White Fields helps change broken lives, turning these boys into successful men. A heartfelt thank you is due from me, the Executive Director, to all of you who read this blog, our staff, donors and all of our mentors. Without you our mission would not be successful. Stories like Brian’s could not be written and young people’s lives would not be changed. Thank you all again and God bless.
White Fields Executive Director