Hope for Missouri families plugged into the already broken family court system.

“The state of Missouri is about to illegally adopt out my grandchildren,” says a grandparent from Missouri, “Paternal Grandparents found to be Appropriate Placement-Denied Family Reunification 42 USC § 675(1) (E) Federal law requires placement of a child with relatives if there is a willing and acceptable relative. The paternal grandparents were found to be an acceptable placement for their grandchildren and denied family reunification as required by federal law 42 USC§ 671(a)(15)(B). The judge in the case had a prior relationship to the foster parent-he was the court-appointed attorney when she was a minor”.

The grandmother, of course, is devastated about losing her grandchildren. The entire family is devastated. Family members jumped every hoop and obstacle the state placed between them, but that was not enough as is often the case in many child custody cases.

The grandmother also told me that if she had known about Parentlink at the beginning of the case that things may have gone differently. She feels that the organization offered her help and resources, and is discouraged because she did not know in time. Maybe through this post, others will.

The foster parents became attached to the children and filed to adopt so not only did the family have to fight the state for custody through the already troubled family court system. They also had to fight the hopeful foster parents.

Other Missouri families going through similar circumstances may want to look at the ParentLink program for help and resources. The grandmother, who I will not identify at this time feels that it will help other families that find themselves in the same position that she found herself. “If I had known about the resources and support that ParentLink has to offer to families I would not be in the situation I have found myself in…..'” she said.

There is hope for the future as new committees are forming that provide oversight where there has been none. Goals are changing to help families and kinship caregivers by providing monetary and other support systems to biological families. Unethical behavior by state workers is being identified and addressed. The flow of money is shifting to support family reunification rather than family separations. Lawmakers now have the opportunity and support to bring change and add accountability to the child welfare system.

If someone is reading this that is in a situation of their own here are a few resources that may help:

Child Welfare Case Preparation (Fostercare systems) Case Preparation Child Welfare Cases Tips.

Family Preservation The Family Preservation Project Where Moms meet resources, and for fathers, SKY IS THE LIMIT FOUNDATION Father’s rights and resources.

Foster Children, Aging out, (also scroll to Youth and Runaway Services). FOSTERING CARE A NONPROFIT HEALING SCHOOL FOR YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE.

Grandparents: Helping Grandparents. Helping grandparents advocate for themselves and their grandchildren. State By State Resources:

If you suspect Human Trafficking which is common in the foster care system and the reason the funding to group homes was slashed, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888, or Text the word “HELP” to BEFREE 233733), https://humantraffickinghotline.org/

The PARENTLINK, your connection to parenting, family, home, and daily living supports!  ParentLink is for all Missouri families, providing free assistance for the entire family from highly qualified professionals. Phone: 573-882-7322. She stated that had she known about this from the start that things may have turned out differently for her and her grandchildren.

Other resources are listed on Minding Hearts Resources Page.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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