Michael, 11, Jennifer, 7 and Amanda, 4, were removed from their mother and placed in a resource home. The resource parent was committed to adoption if the parental rights were terminated. One of the largest obstacles the advocate faced while serving on the case was the mom’s mental health and her inability to maintain stable housing. There weren’t any instances of substance or physical abuse. The children were doing well with their resource parent, but, also had a great attachment to their mom.
This advocate provided detailed reports to the court on the children’s behavior in each placement and their preschool, obtained copies of the bonding evaluations to carefully weigh out each of the factors, and monitored the services put in place to help mom achieve reunification. The length of time this case had been opened within the court was also an obstacle. It had been in the termination process for quite some time before moving back to a goal of reunification.
The resource parent thankfully worked with the mother and the Division, supporting visitation and ultimately reunification. The advocate worked incredibly hard on this case by searching for resources for the mom and children to allow them to be sufficient and achieve a successful reunification. She relentlessly looked for “mommy and me” programs and family services to provide to mom and the Division. She struggled emotionally and fought through the mental fight while trying to determine best interest of the children and, most importantly, remain objective in the process. Mom would become overwhelmed very easily with the amount of services required by the Division, and this advocate was able to maneuver through the trying times, maintain visits with the children, and objectively create reports to the court, without causing undue stress to mom.
This case closed with all three children being reunified with mom. After nearly four years in the court system, many different services and evaluations ordered, and the commitment of both a biological parent and resource parent, the children went home to live with their mom.