Kinship care refers to the practice of raising children by family members or fictive kin who have a pre-existing relationship or bond with the child, in situations where the biological parents are unable to provide adequate care.
Our kinship team advocates for keeping children within their family unit by actively searching for their relatives or fictive kin and assisting them in becoming licensed therapeutic foster parents.
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- Develop permanency for children by providing supports and services designed specifically for relative and fictive kin caregivers to maintain stability and increase successful placement in a kinship foster home
- Raise awareness on the importance of keeping children within their family unit through advocacy and educating the community
- Provide family connections through search and engagement for youth in care.
Develop permanency for children by providing supports and services designed specifically for relative and fictive kin caregivers to maintain stability and to increase successful placement in a kinship foster home
Raise awareness on the importance of keeping children within their family unit through advocacy and educating the community
Provide family connections through search and engagement for youth in care.
Billy had always yearned to be with his family.
In the early years of his youth, he entered foster care twice: first at nine months and then again at six years old. On both occasions, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) placed him under the care of his grandmother, Ms. Hodges; however, at the age of seven, after living with her for just a year, DFCS removed Billy from her home and hospitalized him due to his behavioral challenges.
Billy suffered from multiple diagnoses, including reactive attachment disorder (RAD), a condition where a child fails to form healthy bonds with their parents or caregivers, often due to childhood trauma. Children with RAD can develop healthy relationships within a stable, nurturing environment through proper treatment, which would later play a pivotal role in Billy’s process of getting better.
DFCS placed Billy with Creative Community Services (CCS) in 2018. Before this, he had experienced disruptions from various group homes, foster placements, and other agencies. Given his complex needs, he required a higher level of care. Still, within the first two years of being with CCS, he faced frequent hospitalizations and placement instability. Attending school, therapy, and adhering to medication routines proved difficult for him.
Recognizing that more intervention was necessary, CCS took Billy’s wishes to heart. Despite showing reluctance toward adoption, he consistently expressed his desire to be with his family. Creative Community Services’ CEO Sally Buchanan and Billy’s support team reached out to Ms. Hodges to explore the possibility of her becoming a placement option once again. While her previous attempts at caring for Billy had not been successful, a different approach would be taken this time: CCS would help Ms. Hodges become a licensed therapeutic foster parent.
Ms. Hodges agreed and immediately embarked on a journey to achieve that goal. CCS equipped her with community-based services, trauma-informed training, and 24/7 support, so she would have the skills necessary to provide comprehensive care for her grandson. In March 2020, CCS placed Billy with Ms. Hodges as a kinship placement.
He has not changed placements since.
At fifteen years old, Billy has matured considerably and discovered a strong passion for working with animals. He has formed deep bonds with his grandmother, father, and their extended family. He even attends school regularly.
What’s more heartwarming is that he has reconnected with his biological father, Jake. Their reconnection began with phone calls, evolved to unsupervised visits, and ultimately led to overnight stays. Not only did this newfound connection provide Billy with the stability he needed, but it allowed Jake to reclaim his role as a parent, playing a crucial part in his son’s progress.
At last, on March 20th, 2023, Billy’s dream became reality. He was discharged from CCS’ care after a judge granted Ms. Hodges permanent guardianship. His support team reports he has never experienced greater happiness.