Charlie* was born on a snowy morning in early 2018. Unfortunately, Charlie is one of a growing number of babies born with drugs in his system. Because of a number of social issues, the hospital knew Charlie would not be able to go home safely. Charlie is not the first or the second, but actually the third child born to his mother and neither of his siblings are currently in their mother’s custody. One child is in the custody of their maternal aunt and another in the custody of a cousin. Though the households are separate, the family is close and the siblings spend time together often. Kinship care has worked for this family in the past and Charlie’s 30 Days to Family ® Specialist, Sarah, was determined to make it work again.
Right after Charlie’s birth, his siblings’ custodians were contacted about possible placement. Due to family circumstances and the care of multiple children, neither was able to take Charlie into their home. They both were interested in a relationship and sibling connections with this tiny new baby boy though.
This situation became a great opportunity to the 30 Days to Family ® Program because the intensive approach results in at least 80 kin connections in 30 days or less. Charlie needed connections fast. After being discharged from the hospital after a few days, Charlie entered into foster care. Sarah met with Charlie’s immediate relatives (mother, father, grandparents, and sibling custodians) within 72 hours of the case being opened. Charlie’s family tree began to take shape with valuable family connections as Sarah worked to find him a kinship home.
On day 4, Sarah made contact with Megan, a close family friend of Charlie’s grandmother. Megan is married, lives locally and is very close to Charlie’s extended family. During a visit to Megan’s home, she and her husband agreed to take placement of Charlie. Background checks and a safety home inspection were completed quickly and visits between them and Charlie began. Sarah worked with Megan on Charlie’s family tree. At first, Megan was reluctant to discuss family connections. Sarah stayed committed to the 30 Days to Family ® Model and continued to talk with Megan and her family about the family tree.
Through multiple conversations, Megan pieced together that through an affair decades prior, Charlie was actually a blood relative to her! Where a family had not seen a biological connection, Sarah and the family dug and found one. Though a biological connection is not a requirement for kinship placement, Charlie now has a placement with a biological relative that may have not been discovered had it not been for Sarah’s commitment and her relentless curiosity. On Sarah’s most recent home visit to check on Charlie and the family, Megan and Charlie were cuddling together in the living room. Megan and her husband are committed to giving Charlie a loving home with kin and connection with his siblings.
*Name and identifying details have been changed