By Morgan Mongold


The Ahmadi family (last name changed to protect privacy) was referred to enCircle for Visit Coaching after their four children were removed from their home. Thankfully, the kids were all place together and began visitation with their mother at the Department of Social Services — ultimately, the goal was for the children to return home. The Department of Social Services referred the Ahmadi family for Visit Coaching because Ms. Ahmadi was struggling to engage with her children because she was upset they were removed.

And that’s when enCircle stepped in. We began our work together in September of 2021. There are two main reasons their story had a positive outcome: 1) Because English was not their primary language, we used interpretation services for the visits, and 2) Ms. Ahmadi showed her love and bonded with her children by bringing them homecooked meals.

After the first visit, I realized Ms. Ahmadi wanted to make sure her children were comfortable while they were all together. The children would request their favorite foods for the next visit and Ms. Ahmadi would come prepared with a feast to demonstrate that comfort. I quickly saw during visits with this family how much they cared for each other and how special foods were used a love language. Up next, Ms. Ahmadi mentioned that she’d like to have games that she could play with her children. Interacting in this way brought forth heart-felt, amazing conversations, while enabling Ms. Ahmadi to spend time with them as a group, and individually.       

While working with this family, I was able to both research and speak with the interpreter about cultural considerations. I also had to examine and critically reflect on my own privilege and preconceived notions. Maintaining professional boundaries was also important since Visit Coaches do grow fond of the families we work with.

I worked with the Ahmadi family for a few months before a court hearing dissolved the Department of Social Services’ custody and the children permanently returned home. I was thrilled for the family to be reunited and was able to have one last phone call with Ms. Ahmadi thanking her for allowing me to work with them. Often, there is no official closure when Visit Coaches work with families, however, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to be a small part of their journey.

Learn more about enCircle's Visit Coaching program here.