Families from all types of backgrounds often face challenges, and sometimes those challenges can impact a family’s ability to stay safely together. Shannon and Leah are the parents of 7-year-old daughter Alexia. Both parents were struggling with severe substance use disorders, which made it difficult to ensure their daughter’s needs were being met. When a judge made the decision to remove Alexia from the home and have a foster family care for her, Shannon and Leah committed to making a change in order to safely reunite their family.
While both parents received substance use treatment and mental health services, the foster family caring for Alexia kept in contact with Shannon and Leah, providing updates on how their daughter was doing. Shannon recalls the supervised visits he and Leah would have with Alexia, and how their KVC Family Support Worker Jessica made a huge impact. “Jessica sincerely cared about me and my family,” said Shannon. “She took us to the park for our visits and let us walk and play with Alexia. Being outside of an office and having that time together was the first time we felt like parents.”
When their visits were allowed to be unsupervised, Shannon and Leah took Alexia to the public library which was within walking distance of their house. As they walked holding hands with Alexia between them, that’s when they realized they were going to get her back and start their new journey together as a strong, healthy family.
Through their own hard work and with the support of KVC professionals, Shannon and Leah were able to safely bring Alexia home in less than twelve months. Both parents overcame their addiction and now feel better, more focused and motivated to be the best parents they can be. Shannon has gained employment and Leah is going back to school to study nursing. Alexia is doing very well in school and enjoys all the swimming she gets to do in the summertime.
Watch this video to hear more of Shannon and Leah’s story:
Through our partnership with the Kansas Department for Children and Families, KVC Kansas helped safely reunite 1,030 Kansas children in foster care with their 635 families last year. We also prevented thousands of children from entering foster care by providing family preservation services. We are proud to play a role in strengthening Kansas families and coming alongside them during their time of crisis. We applaud the hardworking families that have achieved reunification or are currently working toward it. Learn more about our reintegration, watch more success story videos or read how KVC has helped strengthen families in multiple states.