A Day in the Life of TCM…
Chad A. Parker, MSSW, LMSW, LPC
Executive Vice President
Tupelo Children’s Mansion
“I want to make sure that I’m not misunderstanding,” the case manager said shocked and confused. “You’re saying that Ian is on his own, and he is not allowed to contact you?”
“That’s right!,” affirmed Ian’s father. “Ian turned 18 last week. We will no longer be sending any support for him, and he may not call us….we’re done!”
“I don’t understand. I thought your last visit went really well. Ian seemed very positive about returning home,” the case manager questioned.
“Oh, he did have a good time. We didn’t want to make a scene while he was home. We made sure he had a good time and was able to obtain a few more of his personal items. You can tell him that he’s never coming back,” said the father.
“Ok, but what about his college plans? Can we get you to assist us in completing his FAFSA for student financial aid, so he can pursue his college education?” the case manager asked.
“Absolutely not!,” exclaimed Ian’s father. “FAFSA will ask for our personal information. We are moving and changing our numbers; we do not want him to have access to that information. He is on his own.”
The case manager pleads, “I just feel…” Ian’s father cuts the case manager short by hanging up the phone.
I wish I could tell you that I just made this story up to appeal to your heart. I wish I could tell you that this was an extreme case. However, neither of those statements would be true. Sadly, this very conversation (and many more like it) happen all too often. As I’m writing this article, we’ve had similar conversations with two families in the last two weeks.
As our older residents graduate and “age out,” they can be forgotten. No family to return to; no place to call “home.” TCM case managers work hard to make sure these children can pursue their dreams, but even then, they are limited in what they can do. I am thankful that we serve a God who is not limited! We’ve been able to witness the miraculous for these kids in the past, and we believe that the graduates of 2021 will be no different.
This year we have 12 residents who will be graduating and pursuing their dreams. Would you help us pray for their futures? Most will enter into this transitional phase of life without any family support. Would you pray for our case managers and residential staff to have wisdom as hey help them plan for their future? No doubt, God has great plans for these young people!
As always, if you feel a desire to make a lasting impact on the children at TCM, we are always accepting applications from those who are called. Email your resume with a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to volunteer or intern at TCM? Email me at email@example.com.