Twin siblings Jean and Janet were removed from their mother at birth due to her ongoing substance abuse. The court placed them in the custody of their father and closed the case with the mother permitted to have supervised visits. At age 11, Jean was put into foster care after multiple violent outbursts towards his sister and father. About a year later, Janet was placed into a shelter after her father was hospitalized and authorities found her living in a home with health hazards and no electricity. With both of her children in foster care, and their father now physically unable to care for them, the twins’ mother requested that the court return the children to her care. She was able to successfully complete an array of services to address her substance abuse and mental health needs and was attending AA/NA meetings consistently. However, she did not have appropriate, safe housing for the children.
Frustrated about their extended time in foster care, the judge in the case made it clear that if the twins’ mother could not secure adequate housing, DCF would be expected to initiate termination of parental right proceedings. Concerned that she would not be able to secure housing and regain custody, the case manager referred the children’s case to FFCR’s Permanency Roundtable (PRT) Program to either resolve this barrier or help identify alternative permanent caregivers. The first hurdle was securing an affordable apartment and a landlord who would rent to the mother. The PRT Team worked tirelessly with the mother to identify an apartment and engaged reassure the landlord about her, and seeing the support backing her, was more obliged to work with the agency and team to ensure that she moved in. With a sense of urgency, FFCR’s PRT Program staff mobilized to link her immediately with community resources to address her homelessness. They worked with the case management agency to secure funds to assist with initial rental and move in expenses and reached out to community partners to obtain furniture. Moreover, the PRT team worked to support the children’s ongoing well-being and the family’s continued success by helping the mother to build a support network in her community.
Thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts of the FFCR’s PRT Specialist and Outreach Specialist, along with Jean and Janet’s PRT team, the children have now been safely reunified with their mother.