After the birth of their first child, Jerrid noticed Sabrina was having trouble dealing with her feelings. Jerrid was also struggling with employment and the couple was beginning to feel overwhelmed. They were arguing regularly and struggling to cope with the stress of being first time parents. Their conflicts continued to escalate.

After witnessing Sabrina throw their son on the bed, Jerrid reached out to a counselor for support, and a report was made through the Office of Children and Youth. "My boyfriend called [the Office of Children and Youth] on me for throwing my son on the bed," said Sabrina. "He thought it was a little bit too rough."

"I didn't like the way our relationship was," said Jerrid. "We were getting physical, and it just got out of hand. I thought we needed to work it out."

Jerrid and Sabrina were referred to Family Preservation Services at Family Services of NW PA. Family Preservation Services are designed to strengthen the families at risk of placement by improving family functioning and child safety. Referrals for Family Preservation Services can only be made by the Office of Children and Youth.

The Family Preservation Services caseworker, Mary Renaud, worked closely with the family to draw on their strengths and help create a safe home environment. As a result, Jerrid and Sabrina were able to keep their son at home.

"They helped us with resources and helped us get things we needed for the kids," said Jerrid. "They showed us how to do things we didn't know how to do and taught us coping skills."

Jerrid and Sabrina continued to use Family Preservation Services through the births of their other two children. They worked hard to develop new behaviors that allowed them to cope with the stressors of life and parenthood. Thanks to the help of Family Preservation Services, they continue to provide all three children with a loving and safe home.

"Family Services changed us completely," said Jerrid. "They helped us be a better family."