June is recognized as Reunification Month. Since last June, 316 of our clients have had their cases closed because they are safely home with their parents. Tony is one of those kids, and his family’s story is inspiring. While no one welcomes Child Protective Services into their family, sometimes they are later thankful. Tony’s mom falls into that category.
“I don’t regret any of the things that happened to me in the system–they made me who I am today,” she says. She was lucky enough to have her mother caring for Tony while she jumped through the hoops of getting clean and finding the stability and strength she needed to have Tony returned to her care. She fought hard for her son (and for herself) by visiting him every chance she could, taking parenting classes and eventually entering residential drug treatment. She also fought hard in court as her own attorney–a very rare occurrence and an uphill battle for sure. Tony’s attorney was the first one she convinced that she was ready to have Tony home with her. Working together through many days of trial wherein Tony’s mom successfully presented evidence and cross-examined county child welfare workers, she eventually convinced the judge too. Tony’s little brother was born shortly thereafter. A little more than a year later, their case was closed. Tony is a happy, well adjusted little boy delighted to be living as a family with his mom and little brother and continuing to spend time with his beloved grandmother. His mom continues to advocate for herself and her family. EBCLO salutes Tony, his mom and the families of all of the 315 other clients of ours who are safely home with their families.