20 Success Stories: Mental Health, Family Reunification, Foster Care and Adoption Support Transform Lives
Everyone goes through tough times. In fact, 2 out of every 3 people have experienced serious childhood adversity like abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, or having a family member attempt or die by suicide.
KVC Health Systems is a family of nonprofit organizations working to strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help both children and adults achieve mental health wellness. To that end, we know there is power in people sharing their personal stories of overcoming traumatic and difficult experiences. If you have such a story, sharing it with the appropriate audience and with the support of a mental health professional can encourage someone else and can change the world.
Do you believe every child deserves to be safe and connected to a strong family? Join us to receive a few inspiring stories each month and help end childhood adversity. Subscribe here!
Storytelling’s power is why, each year, KVC Health Systems holds a Story Contest. We celebrate the inspiring ways children and adults have healed from serious challenges like strained family relationships, mental health needs, addiction, loneliness and hopelessness. Our nationwide team and supporters are grateful to have been a part of these stories.
We received many entries to our 2021 Story Contest. Since then, we’ve been sharing the stories online. These stories came from youth and families we’ve served, foster or adoptive families who support our mission, and KVC team members who provide in-home family therapy and support, mental health treatment, foster care, adoption, inpatient children’s psychiatric treatment or other life-changing services. The stories highlight the resilience of people we serve and the compassion and expertise of our team members.
The KVC Story Contest uses a team of judges to select the most emotionally compelling stories. The top winners received Amazon gift cards, several people won swag like tote bags and tumblers, and everyone who submitted a story got custom wallpaper to use on their smartphones.
Now is a great time to check out any of these stories you may have missed! Also, please enter our 2022 Story Contest taking place now through June. You can win KVC swag and Amazon gift cards!
Heartbroken Boy Finds Emotional and Academic Support to Achieve His College Dreams
Submitted by Walter Swoope, KVC West Virginia
How This Teacher Helped a Student Overcome Massive Challenges to Graduate High School
Submitted by Ryan Ratzlaff, KVC Missouri
‘KVC Has Become More Than Just My Job. They’ve Become My Family.’
Submitted by Sabrina Jenkins, KVC Kansas
Teen Brother and Sister Follow Different Paths After Foster Care
Submitted by Lisa Ahmann, KVC Nebraska
Social Workers Share What Drives Their Passion for Helping Children and Families
Submitted by Garra Barker and Miriam Wagner, KVC Kentucky
Hope’s Story: Teen with Depression Who Attempted Suicide Gets Life-Saving Help at KVC Hospitals
Submitted by Janny Sivilay, KVC Hospitals
‘Our Two Families Became One’: Fostering Leads to Adoption and a Lifelong Relationship
Submitted by Jamie Kelsey, KVC Kansas
I Support KVC Because KVC Helps Children Like Me
Submitted by Charles Robertson, KVC supporter
We featured this quote from Mr. Robertson in our 2021 KVC Impact Report: “My adoption changed the trajectory of my life. I’ve run a successful business for over 20 years, married an incredible woman, raised two great kids and am able to support different charities. KVC has, can, and will continue to change trajectories of children, much like myself, that just need a chance! I will continue to support this awesome group as they are truly making a difference for kids that might otherwise be neglected or forgotten.”
Girl Feeling Suicidal Googles Mental Health Support, Drives Herself to KVC Hospitals
Submitted by Kim O’Connor-Soule, KVC Hospitals
We shared this on Facebook: “Last night, we had a 17-year-old walk-in admission at our children’s psychiatric hospital. The youth shared they were driving around a nearby town looking for a bridge high enough to jump from. I asked our charge nurse how did the youth know about KVC Hospitals? Apparently she Googled us. Now wide awake at 2:30am, I did the same out of curiosity. What stood out to me was that our KVC Hospitals Wichita Google review scores are the highest on the initial results page. Perhaps it provided reassurance to the youth that driving herself to our hospital and seeking help was the right thing to do? I want to acknowledge our KVC Marketing and Communications Team, specifically Blythe Hinderliter, for her efforts in pushing hospital site leadership to increase our Google scores and improve our online presence. The beauty of our work is that everyone plays a role in making a difference in the lives we serve.”
Some stories will be shared later this year. Follow KVC on social media so you don’t miss them!
- ‘We’re So Thankful We Said Yes to Fostering Teens!’: Foster Parent Shares Her Fostering and Adopting Journey – Kelsey Stock, KVC Kansas Foster Parent
- Kinship care is life-changing for children in foster care – Chrystal Onyoyo, KVC Kansas
- My Childhood Led Me to Advocate for Youth in Foster Care – Stephanie Everman, KVC Kansas
- Child welfare professional feels growing empathy for families – Kimberly Vaughn, KVC Kansas
- Team member Paige Brooks provides caring treatment for youth with autism – Sarah Berens, KVC Hospitals
- Student learns to work through grief with therapist’s help – Amanda Myer, KVC Missouri
- Mother asks case manager to be her child’s godmother – Stephanie Perry, KVC Kansas
- Helping children and families is KVC’s true north – Pam Satterfield, KVC Health Systems
- Over a 16-year therapist career, I have seen many lives transformed – Rachel Criss, KVC West Virginia
- Youth receives life-changing therapy allowing her to safely return home – Janny Sivilay, KVC Hospitals
- Girl who experienced trauma feels glimmer of hope, thanks to therapist – Valerie Nichols, KVC West Virginia
Submit Your Story & Win!
Do you have a story that shows how you made a positive difference in someone’s life through KVC, or how KVC made a positive difference in yours? By submitting your story, you’ll win an instant prize of custom wallpaper, get entered into weekly drawings for free swag, and be entered to win one of several Amazon gift cards. Entering takes as little as 5 minutes. Submit your story today at www.kvc.org/stories.
If you believe every child should be safe and connected to a strong family and a healthy community, join us! Explore KVC careers, learn more about helping a child or teen who has experienced abuse or neglect by becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or consider donating online today.