This week’s Kinship Caregiver Spotlight is on Helping Hand Home’s kinship caregiver, Sally. Sally is an older great aunt who has been the steady rock of her family for several years. She has cared for her nieces and nephews, while also serving as her mother’s full-time caregiver.

Sally made an especially invaluable impact on the life of her nephew John, a 17 year-old foster child who has been in multiple placements since he entered care at the age of 9. Over time in care, Helping Hand Home noticed John becoming more and more resistant to adoption, especially with his 18th birthday around the corner. His focus was on returning to his birth family.

In January 2021, the Helping Hand Home team successfully made contact with his great aunt, Sally, and learned that she was eager to have John back in her home as soon as possible.

After spending some time working on Sally’s home to meet placement qualifications, Helping Hand Home and Sally advocated to CPS the importance and need for John to come home to his Aunt Sally at age 17. This month, we join Helping Hand Home and Aunt Sally in celebrating John’s reunification with his family!

This story reminds us how important it is to keep children connected to their families and prioritize the child’s own permanency goals.

Please note: Names in this story have been changed for privacy purposes.