Compassionate Care Turns Around Youth's Severe Behavior and Mental Health Issues

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Pioneer Human Services operates a comprehensive set of programs in Snohomish County to treat behaviorally challenged and/or aggressive youth, and helps families in crisis. The three male-only residential programs in Snohomish County are designed for the hardest-to-serve youths. Most residents have been unsuccessful in previous foster placements and less-intensive treatment programs, and have demonstrated behavior that makes them difficult to place with an individual family. Many have a history of extreme behavioral problems, mental health issues and developmental disabilities.

Pictured: Left - Jasmine Sandoval, program supervisor; Right - Mary Johnson-Schroeder, director of Snohomish County Youth Programs 

David came to our Tamarack House after his release from the Washington State Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) on juvenile parole with no home residence to be able to return to after his release. Unfortunately, David fell into old habits a month after his release resulting in being given an extra year with probation in addition to his parole. He was struggling with his behavior and mental health issues, and had extreme suicide ideation as well as two attempts to end his life. Our trained staff really stepped in to guide and balance him along his path to stability. 

Jasmine Sandoval, Tamarack House program supervisor shared, “David had a tough history and I knew we had to really build a bridge fast to be able to work with him on his behavior. Compassion and trust were two important aspects in successfully transitioning David to a foster placement.

Upon David’s arrival at the Tamarack House, he was very guarded. However, after staff built a trusting relationship with him, David focused on the connections with our employees and external partners that were working with him, and he started to thrive when he made the solid connections. David definitely had his highs and his lows in the program, including two earned and lost jobs during his time at Tamarack House and struggles with his mental health, but he persisted in trying to improve his behavior and his self-confidence. He ended up successfully completing his parole while at Tamarack House and one month later he finished his probation. The team worked together to help David progress and successfully transition into a foster family home.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families reached out to commend Jasmine for all her work with David and to thank her for sticking with him through his severe behavioral issues. The note said, “Thank you again for everything and please keep up the great work!!! Jasmine, I have really seen you grow over this last year and you are amazing at what you do!!! Keep it up!

Mary Johnson-Schroeder, director of the Snohomish County Youth Programs said, “Jasmine and all my staff really have a dedication for the work we do with these troubled youth. Our job is not easy but it is so rewarding when we get to witness a young man engaging in our program and turning his life around. We all wish David the very best.”

Thursday, September 9, 2021