The PALS Program (Preparation for Adult Living Services) helps at-risk young people transition to a successful adulthood. Managed by the Central Plains Center for Services and funded by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, PALS has helped the youth it serves make significant gains in education, employment status, housing, health and community engagement.
PALS Specialist Nicole Frey began working with a young man named Richard, when DHHS closed his case and he had been placed in a very favorable foster care environment. Here’s how Nicole describes Richard’s progress and his prospects for the future:
“Richard met Dana and Dave through a friend at his high school and instantly created a bond with them. Even before he went to live with them, he spent most of his time at their house and they absolutely fell in love with him, which is hard not to do! His, then, FPS decided that it wasn’t working well at the current foster home and explored other options for placement; one of which was with Dana and Dave. Once they heard that he needed different placement they jumped at the chance. Never having been foster parents before, they took him in as their own son.
He had been living there for almost 2 years before we started working together and was flourishing in their home. Dana and Dave have two biological children but if you were to ask them how many kids they had they would say three, with a smile. When I asked Richard what permanency meant to him, he spoke of his journey that ended with this family and how special they are to him. Both of his biological parents are deceased and he only has sporadic contact with an adult brother. Richard has found his forever family and if you asked Dana or Dave, they would simply say that Richard completes their family. In my opinion, Richard’s permanency with this family has facilitated much growth, offers
unconditional support and a safe haven from life at a big university in Lincoln. It has been a pleasure for me to witness the selfless and consistent love and support they give to one another. It is truly a love story that has a very happy ending.”
Nicole and PALS helped Richard and his new family develop their relationship and learn about the importance of permanency.