Landon’s Journey to His Forever Family
Supporting children in care through our Destination Family program
Landon* was placed into foster care when he was ten years old because his mother was addicted to drugs and unable to care for him. Landon often felt guilty for not being with his mother. Sometimes he lashed out at his foster families. He was moved three times in two years and had little stability in his life. When Landon turned 13, Child Protective Services referred him to Stanford Sierra’s Destination Family program (DF).
Landon and his DF worker researched his extended family with the goal of broadening his network of support. Together they learned that Landon had a cousin named Max* who was also in foster care and in the process of being adopted by his resource family. The DF worker contacted Max’s resource parents, and soon Landon was visiting his cousin regularly. Both boys seemed to benefit from their growing relationship. Half a year later, Max’s parents approached DF about Landon moving in with them.
While living with Max and his parents, Landon’s outlook improved. He seemed more positive and content. But struggles remained. He still lashed out occasionally, and he continued to struggle academically at school. His DF worker and resource parents worked with his teachers to develop an individualized education plan (IEP) for Landon. DF also added a therapist to the team, who helped Landon explore the sources of his anger and develop healthy ways to experience and manage his emotions.
As Landon’s grades improved, he became eligible to join the school soccer team. His coach noted Landon’s reputation as a positive influence, for encouraging his teammates during practice and games. Today, Landon is also in the process of being adopted. He stays in contact with his birth mother while benefiting from healthy boundaries that his DF worker and soon-to-be adoptive parents help him set and maintain. Whatever challenges he might face, he knows his family and Stanford Sierra are there to support him.
* Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.