Support and Connections for a New Family’s Stability

September 6, 2019

Eleanor, Robbie and Diana

After taking in her two young cousins, Diana reached out to Family Tree, where she experienced the interconnected services including Family Tree Kinship Program and Family Tree Legal Advocacy.

Diana’s cousins; Robbie, age 5, and Eleanor, age 8, grew up in a single-parent household. Once their mother was incarcerated, their grandmother cared for the two children until the financial burden proved too difficult.

Faced with the alternative option that Eleanor and Robbie would be turned over to social services, Diana welcomed them into her home. Soon after, Diana sought assistance from Family Tree Kinship Program. Family Tree provided financial and supportive services, as well as referrals for Diana to maintain stable and safe housing for this growing family. 

Diana was concerned about Eleanor’s severe anger issues and frequent tantrums at school and home. She was at the verge of expulsion when Family Tree referred the family to a community program to address her anger issues. With the collaborative efforts of Family Tree, the community program and the school, Eleanor now thrives at school and maintains improved behavior at home.

Eleanor and Robbie were overdue for health checkups and needed prescription eyeglasses to replace the reading glasses their grandmother bought them at a dollar store. Family Tree referred Diana to a children’s clinic, where Eleanor and Robbie received new glasses with the correct prescriptions, saw a dentist and received current vaccinations. Family Tree supplied the family with bunk beds and grocery and clothing assistance to help make the transition smooth and successful.

Soon after working with Family Tree, Diana expressed interest in obtaining custody of her cousins. Family Tree Legal Advocacy guided Diana through the custody process, including providing the appropriate paperwork and a volunteer attorney’s support at the Family Tree Legal Clinic. Diana’s volunteer helped her complete the correct forms to waive all custody filing fees and gave her the confidence to request a guard at her cousin’s jail serve the papers to Robbie and Eleanor’s mother so Diana could get the signature she needed.

Soon, Diana was awarded full custody of the children. After a long and challenging process, the children finally lived in a safe and stable home, and through the help of Family Tree, Diana was equipped to provide them safe, strong and self-reliant lives.