B is a 17 year old girl who has been in foster care since 2014. For the past two and a half years, B has been in a group home with no prospects for adoption. All of her basic needs are met in this group home and she is the most stable that she has ever been. Our focus in advocacy has included improving the quality of B’s life. Her Guardian ad Litem, Sherry Howse, has been a passionate advocate and located a local therapeutic horse riding facility. B expressed interest and we were initially able to work with case management and use funds from B’s master trust to cover the majority of expenses. After we were certain that B wanted to continue with horse riding, I reached out to Voices, who happily provided funding for the purchase of a lovely pair of proper riding boots for B. She could not have been more excited and grateful! For the summer months, case management agreed to cover the costs for lessons for a portion of the summer. Voices, again, stepped in to cover the remaining expenses so that B could continue lessons uninterrupted through the summer and until her 18th birthday.
The impact these riding lessons have had on B cannot be overstated. Her overall happiness is greater and she truly enjoys interacting with and learning about the horses. Even more importantly is the impact that the lessons have had on her health. B was becoming overweight, which contributed to problems with her hips.
Although a nutritionist was consulted, B still had difficulties losing weight. Since beginning horse riding lessons, B has lost a considerable amount of weight. Her orthopedic specialist even determined that surgery was no longer necessary!
When the other parties in B’s case had determined that B’s life was “good enough”, her Guardian, Ms. Howse, and Voices said, “We can do better” and stepped-up to make “better” happen. Without Voices, B would have suffered yet another loss-the loss of an activity that benefits her physical health, mental health, and overall wellness. We cannot thank Voices enough for the positive impact their support has made on B.