Navigating DHS with Peer Support!
Peer Story: Charles Woerner III
“In my opinion, the EVOLVE Peer Support program is one of the best services available to people who are struggling and need help but do not have the support they need to be successful.”
When I first started working with MHAAO, I was really struggling. My children were in DHS custody. I was working as hard as I could to try to do everything right, but I was being told that I should expect not to get custody and be happy with seeing my kids twice a month at best.
I had almost no positive support in my life and I felt like no one was in my corner.
My peer support specialist worked closely with me over 13 months. We worked together to build up a positive support system in my life and find permanent housing and a better job. His help with navigating the DHS child welfare system and with helping me learn how to advocate for myself and my children was invaluable.
Most importantly, I always felt we could relate to each other as he had been through similar struggles in his own life and was now doing really well.
I had my DHS case dismissed in December of 2015 and I was awarded sole custody of my children the following March. I now make $15 an hour and am working very hard to straighten out my past financial problems. In my opinion, the EVOLVE Peer Support program is one of the best services available to people who are struggling and need help but do not have the support they need to be successful.
This blog post is quoted from an email to Sean Syrek, EVOLVE East Department Director, received on 4/26/2016.