Perla’s Story Part 1: The Beginning – A Time of Uncertainty

This is part 1 of a 3-part story following Perla’s experience with Peninsula Family Service

Perla had recently gone through a divorce and was thrust into single parenthood. She took care of her son Leonardo, and newborn twins, Luna and Sol, on her own. She moved her family into her mother’s house while figuring out her next steps. Sleep deprived, depressed, and overwhelmed, Perla reached out to a friend for advice. Fortunately, this friend had participated in Peninsula Family Service’s Home-Based Child Development program, and highly recommended it.

“I had to do something, I was completely overwhelmed and my mom was helping as much as she could. She’s getting older and she’s on a fixed income, so we were becoming a burden on her. I reached out to Peninsula Family Service and they sent Claudia to my house to meet with me.”

Claudia, one of Peninsula Family Service’s home-based child care case managers, met with Perla in her home weekly. Together they discussed normal child development and activities to keep her twins engaged and meet important milestones. Claudia also provided resource referrals for free activities Perla could do with the twins and encouraged her to get out of the house as much as possible.

“Getting out of the house was really hard. I was so stressed about figuring out transportation, remembering every little thing to keep the girls happy. I probably could have found the free activities Claudia told me about on my own, but I just didn’t have the mental energy to look for them or plan them. I needed that extra push.”

“When Claudia first started visiting, I felt a lot of pressure to appear like the absolute perfect parent. I made sure the house was completely spotless. I wore my nicest clothes. I was worried about her judging me for being a stay at home mom. But it wasn’t like that at all. Claudia visited our family for two years, and became a good friend to us. My kids even call her ‘Tia Claudia’ and get so excited when they know she’s coming.”

Perla confided to Claudia that she had completed the education requirements to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), but when she became a full-time mom, studying to pass the licensing exam was put aside. Knowing how important it was for Perla to become a LVN, Claudia helped her to create a plan to achieve her professional goals.

“Claudia helped me make a plan to finish studying for the LVN exam. Passing that test and becoming a nurse would be a lifelong dream come true!”

Finding time to study and pass the exam meant finding full-time care for Perla’s two-year-old twins. Perla applied to the Peninsula Family Service Child Development Center, and when two spots opened up – Perla jumped at the chance to enroll her twins.

 

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Perla is one of 12,000 individuals Peninsula Family Service works with to open doors of opportunity and change lives for the better. This is the first part in a series of blogs focused on how our wraparound services directly impact our families and program participants through our support and resource tools that help to build financial stability, and to realize the potential of living healthy and stable lives.

Our Home Based early learning program is funded by community members who give generously to ensure every parent, and every child has the resources they need to thrive.

 

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