Treatment foster care success stories

Lawrence and Felicia Pipkins

Lawrence and Felicia Pipkins started as treatment foster parents with Children's with two sisters, ages 8 and 5, placed in their home. The girls came into their home after enduring a life of homelessness while also being surrounded by domestic violence and abuse.

Understandably, because of this past trauma, they had difficulty knowing what a positive and healthy relationship looks like and were unsure who they could trust.

The Pipkins put their all into caring for these girls. They modeled what a healthy relationship is as a loving married couple and as parents. Since the girls have been with the Pipkins they have made tremendous progress.

The Pipkens taught the girls it’s okay to be kids again and they always will be taken care of and will be safe. Gone are the days of not getting along with each other and hurting or threatening to hurt each other. "They are being sisters," said Mrs. Pipkins.

The oldest child came into the Pipkins' home very depressed with such low self-esteem that she kept her head down and would not look anyone in the eyes. She now walks with her head up and is confident. She tells people she "is pretty and a good girl."

These girls have benefited from consistent support and encouragement. This transformation would not have happened without the unconditional and positive interactions the girls have had in the Pipkins' home.

The Pipkins always are willing to try new parenting and behavioral management techniques and they are creative in their parenting style. They have shown sincere commitment to the girls' care and well-being, including making sure the children make it to therapy every week, and stop at nothing to advocate for what is in the best interest of the children.

The Pipkins work well with the treatment team and keep in great communication with team members. The hard work and patience they put into the children placed in their home is commendable. I would like to thank them for their commitment to providing a safe, loving, and secure home for children in need.

- Julie Blunt, treatment foster care social worker

Corliss and Grady Williams

I want to honor Corliss and Grady Williams for the incredible work they have put in with the child placed in their home. They have shown strength and patience while helping a child through some extremely difficult behaviors. Even when their last nerve is tried, they take a deep breath, roll up their sleeves and put on a smile for the next day.

Corliss and Grady truly understand that trauma is at the root of the child's behaviors and they work with the team to address not only the current behaviors but the underlying issues. They provide a predictable, safe and stable home for a child who has never had this, and they model fairness, love, and humor with each other and with everyone who sets foot in their home.

They are the essence of what is needed to be a treatment foster family. I can't thank them enough for being a soft place to land for kids who need that more than anything.

- Rebecca Gordon, treatment foster care social worker

ToniTylerDrain (2)Toni Tyler-Drain

Tragically, a beautiful baby girl named Deasia was born with most of her brain missing. Deasia was going to die, but no one knew when. She could live for a week, a month, even up to a year, before her little body would fail. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services staff contacted one of our treatment foster parents, Toni Tyler-Drain. Toni specializes in providing care for some of our most medically needy children.

Toni said “yes” when approached by placement staff, and Deasia was placed with her. Toni and her grown children loved this little girl and provided the attention and care she needed. Toni even invited Deasia's teen mother and father into her home so they could spend time with Deasia before she died. Toni let the teen parents stay in her home overnight so they could spend the last night of Deasia's life with her.

Toni and her family then planned and paid for a touching funeral service to commemorate Deasia's short lifetime.

Toni recently received an Outstanding Service Award, presented by her case worker, Steve Gardner.

- Steve Gardner, treatment foster care case worker