In 2019 Gladney opened our Gladney Home Residential program for teenage girls currently in foster care. One of the things that we really desired for the Home was a Sensory Room for the girls where they would be able to have their sensory needs met and engage in sensory rich experiences. We know the importance and impact that sensory integration can have for youth, especially youth that have experienced trauma. In 2021, we are excited that we have been able to make the dream of our sensory spaces a reality! Thanks to the generosity of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation as well as being able to partner with Stacy’s Sensory Solutions we have created 2 rooms for our girls in the Home to use.
This year, maybe more than in years past, we are counting all of our blessings and giving thanks for everything we have - down to the simplest of things. This week in the Gladney Home we took some time with our girls to talk about what things we are thankful for. The answers ranged from food and laughter to our health and the people in our lives that we love and cherish. It was a beautiful moment to be still and connect with each other.
Today, the expectant mothers we serve have more complex needs than the clients we served 10 years ago, and we have adjusted our services to meet them where they are.
Expectant mothers experiencing unplanned pregnancies and mothers with young children who contact us considering making an adoption plan are sometimes coming from a challenging, vulnerable place. While some expectant mothers have a strong support system and access to resources, others may be in an abusive relationship, unemployed, experiencing homelessness, or have mental health or substance abuse treatment needs. The women Gladney serves range from teenagers to women in their forties, with an average age of 26, and 49% of the women already have other children. More than 70% of the women are from Texas, and the remainder of the women are from other states across the U.S., including 15 states outside Texas in 2019 alone.
As you may know, the Gladney Home is housing teenage girls currently in foster care. Like most, we are now on an extended spring break and practicing social distancing. This can be challenging, not only with little kids at home, but older kids as well. To avoid the lure of constant Netflix, iPhones, and screen time, here are some things that we have been doing to break up the day and keep everyone entertained.
When Gladney announced the exciting news about The Gladney Home last year, we knew we wanted to provide our live-in clients with a homelike family feel. Having a living place for 15 teenage girls can seem chaotic and overwhelming in the best of times so we were thrilled when The Container Store and The Organized Nest stepped in to help.