Author: Ginette Rhodes
Grandparents Louis and David share a unique, enduring bond with their granddaughter, April. Since her toddler years, they cherished precious moments with her. However, their relationship faced challenges due to April’s biological mother/their daughter’s worsening mental health.
Over time, it became clear that April’s safety was at risk in her mother’s care. Eventually, her biological father gained full custody after April was placed in foster care.
A heart-wrenching twist came when April’s father relocated to Texas, limiting their connection. Despite their love, distance made it hard for Louis and David to ensure April’s well-being.
In 2017, April’s father’s substance abuse and depression escalated, leading to their return to Missouri with 10-year-old April. Amid his grief and relapse, April was placed in foster care again due to dysfunctional living conditions.
Rumors about her dad’s overdose spread, complicating Louis and David’s efforts to connect with April, as they’d faced false accusations of abuse and neglect before. They contacted the Coalition CareLine and worked with Tammy James to rectify these allegations, eventually becoming eligible for the licensing process.
Anne Brod from Families United helped them navigate foster care licensing and build a positive relationship with April’s current foster parents.
With David and Louis in her life, April reconnected with her maternal family, including her Aunt Kim. They anticipate an upcoming family trip to strengthen these ties.
Kim played a significant role as the “cool aunt” for April, providing a safe space for her to express herself.
April’s transformation is evident as she embraces the support and love around her. Though she still lives with her foster family, Louis and David aim to gain guardianship or adopt her in the future, solidifying their commitment to her well-being.
Program Spotlight: Families United
Families United is a relative support program that assists relatives and kinship caregivers in obtaining their foster care licenses. We understand the unique challenges prospective caregivers face, such as tight deadlines, which can make navigating the process alone difficult.
Kinship placements and adoptions often happen abruptly, placing a sudden responsibility on the caregiver. We recognize the significance of providing emotional support throughout the entire journey. Our dedicated team of specialists stands by families every step of the way, offering comprehensive advocacy, material resources, assistance with application completion, and crisis support. Our role encompasses advocacy, education, empathy, and healing, connecting families with the necessary community resources to navigate the challenges they encounter.