Home is Where the Heart Is

Posted on June 28, 2022

What becomes of the children who leave the CHS Residential Care programs?

Some former residents have come back to say hi and stay for a few minutes.

But a very special one has come back to say hi and stay for 19 years—and counting.

April Roselles, Lead Team Coordinator at Black Hills Children’s Home (BHCH) was
nine years old when she first arrived at Children’s Home.
“I came with both my siblings; I have a younger brother and a younger sister,” she says. She and her siblings had been in foster homes prior to BHCH.

“My parents had a lot of difficulties. My mom had me when she was 17. Her mom died two weeks before I was born. My father was not a good man then. They both had drug addictions, alcohol addictions, things like that, so they just couldn’t attend to their kids,” April says. Her father was in and out of the State Penitentiary during her childhood.

“I was at BHCH for nine months,” April says. “I think my brother was here around two years and my sister for about two and a half years.”

April knew her mother loved her and the stay at BHCH became a pivotal moment. “She came here for therapy,” says April.

“I really think this place helped her a lot. I remember she got an award, I think from Fred Tully—a parenting award for being consistent, showing up and being involved. That was nice for her at a time when she probably felt she wasn’t being a very good parent. Affirmation is always important.”

Returning home

April’s home life improved, with no more stays in foster or residential care. But she never forgot BHCH. While still in high school, April began working at BHCH as a part-time counselor. After graduation, she took a full-time position, becoming a team coordinator. Eventually she married, had children, and began to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with her parents, who had changed and are still doing well today.

When she decided to continue her education, April received the CHS Madden Family Scholarship to attend Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City. She earned an Applied Science in Surgical Technology degree and worked at Monument Health as a Surgical Technologist in the operating room. Then she was approached to return to BHCH.

April answered the call, leaving behind her new career. And she has no regrets. “I’m glad to be back because I really believe my heart is here,” she says.

About working with the children at BHCH, April says, “I can relate to the difficulties these kids go through. I can be very empathetic and truly understand where they’re coming from.
And then I can show them that they can be okay, they can overcome this.”

“This isn’t just a job. You really have to have your heart involved, and you have to want to do this. You also have to be optimistic and know that there are going to be hard days, but we’ll get through it. There’s more good than bad. There’s way more good than bad.”

“Basically I came back to give back what I was given, because I literally know this place changed our lives,” April says. “I wanted to come back and provide that to other kids.”