At 14 years of age, Gregory is a bit of a trendsetter. When he was in grade seven, he started wearing a classic fedora hat; some of his classmates soon followed. This past year, he led his rugby team in sporting a Mohawk.
For the past four years, Gregory has lived with Kim Cross, a foster parent (what we call a Parent Therapist) with Quinte Children’s Homes.
Today, he is well accepted at his school and within the community. However, this wasn’t always the case.
Choosing to follow a positive path
Growing up, Gregory has had his struggles. He spent his earlier years being bullied by his peers. Not able to blend in, he chose to retaliate and act out in defense. During elementary school, he had several suspensions because of conflicts with both teachers and classmates.
Gregory entered grade nine this year, and had his most successful school year yet, with zero suspensions and a positive group of friends. He’s also making a positive contribution to the community by volunteering at the local YMCA and hockey club.
Over the years, Cross has made it a focus with Gregory to establish clear boundaries and encourage him to form a positive sense of who he is. This has helped Gregory frame his own decisions and build a strong sense of identity; Cross says he feels less need to blend in and freer to stand apart on his own terms.
“He’s an entertainer, and he’s not afraid to be a leader,” Cross said, adding that he no longer feels he needs to cope or gain acceptance by being “the tough guy”. She says he’s a social kid involved in a number of sports teams; he recently won an award from the local Children’s Aid Society for his sports activities.
“Gregory’s life could have gone in so many different directions,” Cross noted, reflecting on his past. “Instead, he walks with confidence. Someday, he wants to be a police officer. He’s chosen a positive path and he works hard towards his goals.”
Learn more about our Parent Therapist program
Quinte Children’s Homes offers specialized foster care that combines a therapeutic program with family care to help kids like Gregory become independent and confident young adults.
* The names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.*