Meet Sofia and the Howell Family

Watch Sofia’s Story
 Seven years into their marriage and raising their three young children, Richard and Emily Howell were asked by the Department of Child Safety to temporarily foster her sister’s three children while her sister was in rehab for substance abuse.

DSC01101 (2)Unfortunately her sister did not complete rehabilitation, and the children stayed with the Howells. Two years ago Emily got another call informing her that her sister had given birth to a little girl who was born premature and substance exposed, and DCS asked them to foster the baby girl as well.

The Howells decided they would foster the little girl, named Sophia, who was still in the hospital because she was detoxing from the drug exposure.

Southwest Human Development received a referral through the Arizona Department of Child Safety to complete an inspection of their home and observe the care and welfare of Sophia. Nicole, a Family Support Specialist with the Kinship Care and Adoptions Program was assigned to the home assessment.

Nicole provided the Howells with emotional support, but also coached them on how to go through the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) and work with her medical provider on how to address the symptoms Sophia was having. Southwest Human Development coordinated services for Sophia through AzEIP including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy should she need it as she gets older.

The Howells have now officially adopted Sophia. Emily and Richard say if they had not received the guidance and support from Southwest Human Development it would have been tough to provide what Sophia needed.

Meet all of the Ambassador Families at this year’s Walk With Me!