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By their seventh birthday, identical twins Anthony and James had already lived in a half dozen different foster homes throughout the Bay Area. After being removed from their biological parents as toddlers due to prolonged periods of neglect where they were left alone with no one to meet their needs, the brothers experienced a series of short-lived foster placements, moving from house to house and school to school without any promise of permanence.


The only constant in their young lives was each other. Anthony and James were not just twin brothers; they were each other’s best friends. The boys had to rely on each other for protection and support since they didn’t have anyone else to count on. James was the more outgoing sibling and assumed the role of advocate; speaking up on behalf of his brother and himself when they had outgrown their shoes or needed to visit the dentist. In return, Anthony spent hours after school patiently helping James with reading and homework since he struggled with dyslexia.


As the years of instability took a heavy toll on the twins and their anxiety was manifested in behaviors like bed-wetting, stealing school supplies, and throwing tantrums, it became increasingly difficult to find a long-term foster home to accommodate both boys. Just before they entered the second grade, Anthony and James’ fragile world fell apart when they were separated and placed with foster families in different counties.


Anthony and James could have easily become lost in the child welfare system until they were referred to Seneca’s Intensive Treatment Foster Care program. They were overjoyed to be reunited after the lonely and frightening six month separation and placed together under one roof. With consistent care-giving and individual attention from their foster mother and Seneca staff, the boys started to flourish in their therapeutic foster home. Their anxiety subsided as they developed confidence and learned coping skills. James made the honor roll for the first time and Anthony won an outstanding citizenship award at his after-school center. They grew very close with their foster mother’s sixth grade son, and got to fulfill their dream of attending basketball camp and visiting Six Flags.


After a year in Seneca’s ITFC program, one of the boys’ paternal aunts was located through Seneca’s family finding initiative and identified as a possible permanent guardian. Anthony and James began meeting with her regularly, and eventually they were able to transition out of foster care and move in with their aunt, who became their legal guardian. Now happy, healthy, and thriving nine year olds, the twins remain in touch with their former Seneca foster mother and her son, thinking of them fondly as extended family members who helped them through the most difficult time of their lives.

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