Kinship care provides safe, familiar environment

We are now a family with five children between the ages of 18 months and 14 years. There is always something going on and we could not be happier!

But how did this occur, particularly since three of those children are my nieces and a nephew?

Kinship care.

Life changed for the better for these three children when kinship care came into play.

Kinship care involves finding relatives to care for a child or children removed from their home for varying reasons. The goal often is to return the child to the home if safe to do so.

In our situation, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care became involved as the kinship-care agency and things moved very quickly. There was a tornado of paperwork, deadlines and requirements. A lot came at us in a short period of time. But our caseworkers helped us through each step and we were always motivated by the fact that these beautiful children needed a safe, stable, loving and nurturing environment where they could grow and be happy.

The advantage of kinship care, of course, is that children already know they are going to a safe place because they are going to family, perhaps family they have spent a lot of time with in the past.

As in many kinship care cases, the children, when moving in with us, were thrilled to have a support system that was familiar.

We could not be happier to have them in our life and we all sleep better at night knowing they are with family. In fact, the best thing extended family can do is be a part of that support structure and maintain the trust and responsibility of keeping kids safe.

We know we have a long road with potential challenges ahead of us, but whatever comes at us, we will make it through it and be stronger for it.

We look forward to seeing the mark these children leave on the world—now that they have every opportunity to stop just surviving and start living.

– Brandy and Jonathan Ziegler