Specialized Family Care Program

Meet SFCP Brenda Blount

Brenda Blount, originally from London, England, moved to the United States 40 years ago while working as a nurse for the U.S. Embassy. Throughout her career she has worked with children with special needs and volunteered her time helping injured veterans. Her passion for special needs care led her to to Georgetown University Hospital where she continued her nursing career and became part of team that was assisting with the closure of a nearby special needs institution named Forest Haven. While assisting with the relocation of patients from the institute, Brenda said that she “took a shine” to one patient in particular. Brenda decided to take her in as her Person in Placement (PIP) and she has been caring for her for the past 25 years.

During the closure of Forest Haven, Brenda had observed her PIP’s behavior and noticed that she seemed afraid to cry or make any noises at all. She expressed her emotions silently especially when she cried. After moving out of an institutional setting and into Brenda and her husband, Michael’s, home it took five years for her individual to finally feel comfortable making sounds. She now feels safe and comfortable enough to laugh, cry, giggle, scream and express her feelings without fear. As a PIP she has been able to develop her own personality and make friends in the community.

Brenda’s main recommendation for families or individuals considering the program is “lots of patience.” Providers must be able to remain calm and not get frustrated if things don’t go perfectly. To be successful and build a caring, loving relationship with a PIP it is important to be considerate of the individual's feelings, needs, likes and dislikes. Brenda noted that the work is hard but rewarding; she feels accomplished knowing that her PIP feels safe and at peace in their home.