Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services – DCFS
This may be one of the toughest places that Mini Therapy Horses has recently started to visit. We were told to visit on Wednesdays, because that is the day when it is most busy with children ages from infancy to young adult having to testify or participate in difficult and scary court cases with abusive and neglectful families and possibly being placed in foster care with foster families or in juvenile facilities. Time for these children stands still and is tumultuous with uneven footing, not knowing where they might end up and possibly separated from siblings – the only family that they may know who still cares.
We brought the mini horses in on our first day and the stories were heart-breaking, but the minis brought smiles and tears of joy to the faces of even the toughest of cases. In one instance, a young boy aged 14 was visibly upset. He was very stoic despite that you could tell he was very distressed. Once we moved outside of the group on our own and talked about how it was ok to express his feelings and that the horses aren’t going to judge him no matter how he felt, he finally broke down gripping our sweet girl Blue Moon in tears of relief from holding all of his sadness and fear inside. Not only will we be helping the children going through these extremely difficult situations, but we will also offer a moment of peace to the case workers and staff who are over-loaded and deal with overwhelming amounts of heart wrenching situations with these children each day.
We know that we will be able to make a huge difference on our visits here, and look forward to continuing our journey to help start with the healing process for these children.