PIP baner

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Ambyr’s Story | Kathy’s Story | Lisa’s Story | Monica’s Story

Ambyr's Story

My name is Ambyr. I have been involved with DCFS for as long as I can remember. When I was 2 ½ years old, I entered foster care after an incident of domestic violence between my mom and my sibling’s father. My younger brother had a broken arm and the injury was suspicious enough that when DCFS learned of the violence between the parents in the home, they detained me and my siblings. I remained in foster care for the majority of my childhood, in which I was a victim of numerous types of abuse. I came home to my mother once, around the age of 14, and only stayed home for 4-5 months before reentering foster care. I, and my two daughters, emancipated from foster care when I was 19 years old.

For many years, I had a hard time with the events of my childhood. My mother, came from an abusive home, her mother was a heroine addict, who committed suicide when my mother was 8 years old. So, when my mother did the same things to her children, landing her children in foster care, the intergenerational cycle was begun.

When I was 20 years old, I found myself homeless, unemployed, and had developed a methamphetamine addiction. My three children and I had been sleeping in our car. Our car was impounded and we ended up sleeping in the stairwell of my mother’s apartment complex. My 8 month old son had been unable to recover from pneumonia and I knew at that moment that I couldn’t continue like this with my children. I called DCFS on myself and told them that I left my children with a friend of the family and wouldn’t be returning. Within a few days, my children were placed in foster care.

For nearly a year, I continued using. I didn’t visit my children and never heard anything else from DCFS. In March 2006, I found myself pregnant again for the fourth time and decided that I needed to do something differently. I entered into a residential treatment program and began getting myself on the right track. Within a short period of time, I began visiting my children again and soon found myself getting unmonitored day visits, then overnights, and weekend visits.

I completed my treatment program, along with all other DCFS required classes, in 366 days. From there, I moved into a transitional living program and within a few months, I had all four of my children reunified and in my custody. Within 8 months, I was able to get my own place and my DCFS case was closed. I decided that I was going to break that family cycle started by my mother and grandmother and be there as mom to my children every single day.

I heard about employment with the Parents In Partnership Program from my childhood social worker. Then, a friend of mine from my residential treatment program referred me again and I finally applied. As of May 2014, I have been employed with PIP for two years and am a Lead PIP in my office. I continue to work on my recovery daily and am active in a number of recovery related programs. I am currently in school working towards my A.A., and plan to go as far as I can with my education. The things that I like about this job are that I am able to help people, give back to others, show them there is hope no matter the situation. For me, having lived through so many things, I know that everything happens for a reason and you never know who you are going to become out of it.