David's Social Worker Victoria Meza, MSW
Imagine fleeing violence in your native country, only to be abandoned by your caretaker upon arriving to New York City. That is what happened to 14-year-old David*, a special immigrant juvenile from Angola currently in our foster care program.
In Angola, David’s mother was held up at gunpoint and abducted, as he and his brothers escaped and went to live briefly with their uncle. Their uncle refused to permanently adopt them, so they were then left again to fend for themselves. In the absence of having any adult family, David briefly joined a gang until he met a benevolent pastor. The pastor heard his plights, and arranged for him to move to the United States with a chaperone — but that chaperone abandoned David once they arrived to New York City.
David was then placed in our foster care program and began living with a family in Westchester County. Due to everything David has been through, he was very shy and timid at first. He eventually opened up after some time, and has since bonded with his foster mother. He continues to work with his social worker Victoria Meza, MSW and a socio-therapist to overcome the trauma he experienced back in Angola, address any behavior concerns or remote learning issues during COVID-19, and to ensure he is well-adjusted in the foster home. Victoria is helping David attend the necessary in-person meetings to help with his legal paperwork, even during COVID-19, and reports that he continues to slowly open up. “In February, the socio-therapist and I accompanied David to the Angolan Consulate. He was eager to explain the symbolism of various pieces of art around the consulate. It was one of the first times he discussed Angola with us.”
Looking to the future, David’s foster mother said she is interested in beginning the process to permanently adopt David. After a turbulent and painful road getting here, David is finally achieving a sense of normalcy he never thought was possible. Thank you for helping social workers like Victoria as she supports David throughout the pandemic and beyond — at every step of the way.
*Since this is an active foster care case, we are using an alias name to protect the safety and security of our client.