When Tami arrived at YBGR, she was sad, angry, and only thinking about when she could leave. Tami had been in and out of placements most of her life and had spent the last three years in treatment facilities. She figured that YBGR and staff were no different, that it was just a place for the state to warehouse her until her mom got out of treatment and got her back or a foster family was found that was willing to take a kid with mental health struggles.
Now six months later, Tami’s outlook on YBGR has changed dramatically. She has progressed through treatment while gaining new skills and insights. She has worked hard on her communication skills, something she has always struggled with, and is now a “high trust” youth who gets to work with staff to give tours now that the campus has reopened to visitors.
On a recent call with her mom, who has completed inpatient treatment and is now in a halfway house in Arkansas, Tami asked her mom to reach out to her treatment team to find out about resources in Yellowstone County. Tami wants her mom to continue her treatment in Montana where Tami can still have access to Ranch programs. She is still excited about completing her treatment but wants to remain a YBGR kid.
According to Tami, “My caseworker has looked and there are no resources for me in Arkansas like there are here. I can still get YBGR case management, YBGR staff are in the schools, and there is the Supported Employment Program. There are people who will work with me to help me find a job that works for me and my mental health and will continue to grow my communications skills and help me reach my goals. I have been to a lot of places, and no one has ever offered me that. I want to stay a YBGR kid until I am too old to be one anymore.”
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(To protect her identity, Tami’s name and image are not hers, but her story is real.)