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Meet Kim

"We should be ready to fly by ourselves now, thanks to their help"

Kim is a mother, a CAS client as a child and adult. She married at 16 and had three children. Her eldest daughter was 24, her son was 17 and her youngest daughter was 11 when the marriage ended 21 years later. Years of chaos followed for Kim and her children, particularly her youngest daughter, as Kim moved in with a neighbour, then into a shelter, and her daughter rebelled. When an argument in the car resulted in her daughter being hit in the eye, police had to call the children’s aid society.

Kim recalls, “My worker was phenomenal. I had an apartment for the summer and my youngest daughter stayed with the kinship family who were caring for my older daughter. That was when everything unravelled. It was a nightmare, living through it, being an alcoholic. I didn’t want to be the person I had become. I went to Homewood Care Centre in Guelph, and then for a three-month stay at AlControl in Waterloo, where they found out I had post-traumatic stress disorder, so I went back to Homewood again for more treatment. After a year, my daughter finally came back to me, and she also got some counselling at Homewood. She’s much happier now.”

“I had been through a bad situation with my own parents—CAS ripped my sister and me from our parents and we’d had a terrible adoption—I was bitter and angry. That experience made me believe the CAS was horrible. But they don’t work that way today. Look at the way they helped me. I was amazed by the transformation. They were such a support—and they still are. Our case is closed, but I can still pick up the phone, call, and get back-up. For a single parent, that’s so important. Even something that seems so simple—like a mediator when you’re raising a teenager—can be very important.”

“There were many special things they did. When my youngest daughter was living apart from me, we could only have supervised visits. My worker played right along when I created an Italian restaurant for my daughter at home. She was just like part of the family. When I was at Homewood in Guelph, she would go to Burlington, pick up my daughter and bring her to Guelph for a visit. That’s like being family. It was that way for every single meeting. My worker and Yolanda both came to see my daughter perform in her high school play. The CAS’s whole approach is so different today.”

Have they made Kim stronger? “They helped me build a backbone. We should be ready to fly by ourselves now, thanks to their help.”

Today, her daughter wants to be a social worker.

“We’ve reached a positive place, and I don’t think I would have been able to get here without the Halton CAS.”