This winning story was received during our 2016 summer story contest by Marie Adams, Case Manager for KVC Kansas.
As a case manager, I was responsible for helping some children who had been temporarily removed from their home and placed in the care of relatives. This is called kinship care and it is a type of foster care. KVC staff were working with the parents to resolve conflicts and learn healthy skills, but the relatives expressed doubt that the parents could overcome their challenges. They felt that, due to what they knew of the parents’ history, they would likely fail at completing what was required and never be reunited with their children. Despite the relatives’ skepticism, I supported the parents and believed they could safely get their children back home.
After a few months, the relatives wanted to transfer the children from their original school to the same school as their own children, which was much closer to their house. The kids had already gone through such big changes in their lives being in foster care, so having yet another major change concerned me. The parents were being successful in achieving their goals and they were heading towards safe family reunification.
Keeping the children in their school was important, but there was no easy solution to the long distance between the relatives’ home where the children were living and their school. I decided to wake up at 4:30 a.m. every morning, pick the children up, and transport them to school. It was early, but during the car ride, we would tell stories, crack jokes and even recite poems like this one: “Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest. Till the good is better and the better is best.”
About a month and a half later, the children were able to safely return home to their parents. I am so proud of this family for working hard to overcome obstacles and I’m proud to have played a role in ensuring that their children stayed close to what is familiar to them.
Being in foster care can be a confusing time for a child. If it becomes necessary for a child to be removed from the home, KVC makes it a priority to identify people the child already knows to care for them such as a relative, neighbor, teacher or coach. We also work to ensure the child remains in their original school and community they live in. Learn more about our kinship care and foster care services.
Interested in a career that helps children and families? Visit our careers page to apply for a position in your area!