Imagine for a moment that you are 10 years old and arrive to the front steps of St. Joseph Children’s Home. The large archway coupled with the heavy weight of the front door gives you pause as this strange place becomes your 13th placement. After being removed from your family due to abuse and neglect, you’ve moved between multiple foster homes and treatment centers for the past few years. You are confused and feel helpless about your situation because you don’t know how to make it any better. Why should St. Joe’s be different from any other place you’ve lived? You think of yourself as the “bad kid” because how could anyone love a child whose been through your trauma?
This is what every SJ kid feels like when they first arrive to the Home. Each child who lives at St. Joe’s today has experienced multiple forms of trauma including but not limited to homelessness, malnutrition, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Once removed from their family, the child enters state’s custody and is placed in either a relative’s home, a hospital, or is referred to the foster care system while their case is being investigated.