Our Kids

The Children We Serve

At Family Works, we support children from counties throughout Wisconsin. The children and teens are from many different backgrounds and family situations. These youth enter foster care for a variety of reasons, most of which are the result of their early life experiences or needing to be removed from their homes due to safety issues.

Family Works is a private treatment foster care agency, therefore, the youth who come to our homes have typically lived in other foster homes or out-of-home care placements prior to coming to our families.

We believe in supporting children and families through a trauma-informed lens.The trauma-informed lens shifts conversation from “What’s wrong with that person?” to “What happened to a person that may be influencing their behavior?”  This approach recognizes that a person’s experiences impact their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

With this better understanding of people, we are better able to support youth with compassion and healthy expectations.  (For more information on trauma and trauma-informed care, visit our resources page.)

Youth we serve may have experienced one or more of the following situations: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence, parental substance abuse or mental health struggles, parental incarceration, poverty, exposure to community violence, death of family members/caregivers, and multiple separations from caregivers.

Due to these traumatic experiences, children and teens may develop unhealthy behaviors as a way to get their needs met. They aren’t bad or naughty – they simply learned to survive. Behavior is communication and it is our job to help them work through their trauma so they are able to develop healthy ways of coping and communicating.

Most of our kids just need a caring, patient adult with whom to form a supportive relationship. These relationships are the building blocks to healing. Kids in foster care may be up against a lot of negative stereotypes. The truth is, they are kids who have overcome a lot in their lives and need some support in order to reach their goals.

Throughout the licensing and matching process, our team of staff and social workers will help foster parents gain knowledge and insight into how to support the unique emotional, behavioral, physical, and cultural needs of the youth in your home.

At Family Works, we collaborate as a treatment team to wrap services and support around you and the children in your home. You will be connected with a social worker who will be available to support you through each step, and you will be provided with monthly training sessions to develop your knowledge and skills.  (Learn more about treatment foster care at Family Works)