Angelica, a single mother raising five children, used to feel afraid whenever she heard a knock on her front door.  

After spending years as a child in the foster care system, Angelica recognized a simple knock as a threat: someone was at her door, ready to rip her family apart. As a child, Angelica was removed from her parents’ care by child protective services, and she shared that she lived in fear that the same would happen to her children despite her best efforts as a single mom.  

Angelica was determined to raise a stable family, but the demands of single-parenting and providing for her children, ages 2 to 11, often felt overwhelming, isolating and hopeless. She homeschooled her five kids — three of which have special needs and require assistance throughout the day. To make ends meet, Angelica worked remotely at night while her kids slept. Angelica describes doing everything that she could to take care of her children, but evening work, daytime homeschooling and single parenting often left her incredibly stressed and with a chaotic house.  

So, when Jane, an in-home case manager from the Center for Nurturing Families, a prevention service of CAPS, showed up at her door, Angelica immediately had her guard up. She was worried that Jane might judge her to be an unfit mother for having a messy house or snapping at her kids. 

But Jane didn’t do that.  

“Jane worked with me, helped me, and encouraged me,” — Angelica

“Jane didn’t judge me at all,” Angelica said. Instead, Jane recognized Angelica as an overwhelmed single mother trying her best in a hard situation. Jane listened to Angelica’s struggles and helped Angelica identify areas in her own life that they could improve together. For the first time in years, Angelica felt a spark of hope that things could get better for her and her children.  

“Jane worked with me to get my life in order, and it was a relief to have her,” Angelica said. 

Jane started by making sure that Angelica’s family had their basic needs met — meals from Cultivate Food Rescue to ensure the kids had enough to eat, and Jane applied for a financial assistance grant from CAPS Walter Rose Angel fund to help Angelica pay her utility bills when money was tight.  

Jane and Angelica then worked to strengthen Angelica’s parenting and organization skills. With Jane’s support, Angelica learned to work through her frustrations internally instead of expressing them out loud to her kids.  

“It was like a light switch — suddenly I saw a difference in Angelica’s parenting,” Jane said. Angelica’s friends noticed a change in Angelica as well. She was lighter, calmer, and more patient with her kids.  

Angelica shared that even on her worst days — when the struggles of motherhood felt too heavy — Jane was there, fanning a spark of hope into a flame, encouraging Angelica to keep going, noticing her parenting strengths, and celebrating her small wins.  

“Jane worked with me, helped me, and encouraged me,” Angelica said. “She told me that even if things looked bad at the moment, we’d work together to find a solution.”  

Today, when Angelica hears a knock at the door, she’s less scared, as she’s reminded that there are people like Jane ready and willing to help her be the best mom she can be.