The first time she was taken to the ER, Elsie was 16 months old. A policeman carried her in. She was just a little thing — afraid, alone, and in pain, clutching a teddy bear with the one limb that wasn’t broken.
Her mother was a crack addict. The stream of boyfriends she brought home were abusive.
The ER team who worked on Elsie feared the worst. They knew that 80 percent of children who die from abuse are under the age of four. They’d witnessed it all too often.
But Elsie made it through the ordeal. She was removed from her home and placed in emergency foster care.
When she was almost three, Elsie joined CII’s Early Care and Education Program. There, she worked with therapists to help heal the emotional scars. At the same time, Elsie’s mother committed herself to getting clean and becoming the kind of nurturing mother she very much wanted to be.
Elise’s mother participated in CII’s Project Stable Home, a counseling program that provides intensive parent education for substance-abusing mothers with young children. After months of therapy and hard work, Elsie’s mother was ready.
She brought Elsie home again. And ever since, with the help of CII’s in-home counselors, her mother has been able to remain drug-free, employed, and capable of providing a safe and nurturing environment for her little girl.
Now, at age four, Elsie has what every child deserves: the stability and support at home to lead a healthy and happy life.