This story was submitted in our summer story contest by Rachel Stompoly, a Case Manager in the Permanency Department for KVC Kansas. It was also featured in our 2018 Impact Report. Rachel provides direct support to parents whose children have had to enter foster care due to abuse and neglect. In this story, Rachel describes how two parents worked hard to overcome issues stemming from substance use and were able to safely reunite with their daughters after being in foster care.
Stacia and Bradley are the parents of two daughters ages 4 and 11. A couple of years ago, their struggles with substance use contributed to the two girls’ needs not being met. Measures were taken to prevent their girls from entering foster care, but Stacia and Bradley’s struggles with substances couldn’t be overcome in a timely manner. As a result, a court decision was made to remove their children and bring them into temporary foster care. This gave Stacia and Bradley time to focus on sobriety and learning the skills to be the parents their girls deserved.
Stacia and Bradley recognized that they needed support. They were thankful for every resource I suggested for substance use treatment and always welcomed follow-up discussions about their progress. Because they were bravely facing addiction head-on, we knew this would be a difficult process that came with good and difficult months. At times, we all felt like we were on a roller coaster of ups and downs. However, through it all, they showed me they were two of the most determined and resilient individuals I’d ever worked with.
After some hardships, they made the decision to spend several months apart, working on bettering themselves. Stacia was able to receive services through an amazing treatment program where she learned about the correlation between mental health and substance use. Meanwhile, Bradley was also working his way through a treatment program and obtained a job through a new warehouse in Kansas City.
One day, after about 6 months apart, Stacia and Bradley surprised me by showing up to meet with me together. They told me:
“We’re ready for couples counseling. We’re willing to do anything necessary to get our daughters back.”
Their love for each other and their children motivated them to do everything they could to maintain their family. They moved back into a house together and began a renovation process to make a home their family home. Going to church as a family during weekend visits was also a big driving factor in reunifying the family.
I’m happy to say that their two girls were able to safely return home from foster care and have been doing amazing. Stacia and Bradley are incredible parents to their girls, and the family is stronger than ever. Both parents hope to continue to be healthy and help other parents whose children are in foster care by participating in KVC’s Engaging Parents support group. At KVC’s yearly annual celebration, Stacia and Bradley allowed me to share their story of love, strength, and determination. We also honored them for their incredible work to overcome challenges and become a safe and healthy family again.
We are fortunate to have them here today as they continue to care for their girls and help others who have experienced what they went through.
KVC Kansas’ goal is to enrich and enhance the lives of children and families. Each year, our dedicated employees touch the lives of over 13,000 individuals throughout the state. If you feel called to better the lives of others, let us know!