One year ago, father Charles S. was on the verge of giving up his 12 year old son Thadius.
Despite his best efforts, the single father felt he had exhausted all other options. His son’s behavioral challenges had escalated to almost daily altercations and other community based services couldn’t provide the intensity of support that Thadius needed.
After Thadius’ school recommended that he be designated as a Person In Need of Supervision (PINS), Charles took matters into his own hands, voluntarily referring his son to Family Court. It was this action that finally brought the family the resources they needed.
Parent Partner Jennifer Pedersen — a specialist in children’s educational rights from advocating for her own daughter—worked with Charles to make a plan. After hearing that Thadius was physically restrained by school staff, repeatedly suspended, and that Charles feared his son might hurt himself or someone else, Jennifer knew they needed to act quickly.
Within one week, Charles documented his son’s educational needs, wrote to his son’s teachers, principal, and the superintendent, and organized a meeting for a new behavioral plan for Thadius. With our guidance, Charles advocated for his son’s rights, learned to communicate effectively with the school system and, in this process, felt better about his ability to raise his child. Charles agrees that Thadius is a true success story.
“Kids Oneida made him feel like he was somebody again. They helped him rediscover his self-worth and confidence. His attitude changed toward himself, others, and me.”
Today, Charles has taken his advocacy to the next level, setting up meetings with local and state system leaders to help them understand the importance of intensive, community-based services like Kids Oneida.