Organization helps adopted, foster children feel at home

(Photo: courtesy the Pilon family)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Building a family through adoption can provide many benefits, but there can be some bumps in the road.

In this month's Connecting with Community report, WTHR took a closer look at a new program in place to make sure children don't fall through the cracks.

The Pilon family of Martinsville is a blended family of five.

"I think we have learned to listen to one another," said father Shane Pilon.

Shane Pilon and his wife adopted two children back in 2003.

They're now 17 and 16, and join the Pilon's 10-year-old biological child.

"Fostering kids was actually my sister-in-law's idea, she had been doing it for a few years," Pilon said. "We were not having children and we decided it seemed like the right idea because there were so many kids out there in the system...why couldn't we make a difference?" Pilon said.

Studies show many adopted children have had trauma, which can come out later in life.

That's where the Children's Bureau's Attachment Focused Therapy Program helps.

"Because of that lack of consistent response to their needs, these children have learned that they can't trust adults, that they have to watch out for themselves, and the brain development of these children has been compromised," said Nancy Fisher, Director of Adoption at Children's Bureau, Inc.

Their new approach started in February, helping create a stronger bond between children and caregivers, unraveling underlying behavioral issues.

"These children come into our homes and they bring their behaviors into our homes, and these behaviors are the language of the trauma that's happened to them. But they don't have a voice, they don't have the ability to talk about how they feel, so we see it through their behavior," Fisher said.

Pilon will tell you their program has benefited his family.

"Most of the differences have been in myself. It helps us to know how to cope with what they are going through in their own minds," Pilon said.

The Children's Bureau has 18 locations across the state and helped nearly 23,000 families last year and more than 47,000 children.

The Attachment Focused Therapy Program is available to all families: adopted, foster, or biological. Click here to learn more about the program

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