Kin: Not Always Blood but Always a Bond, OH
September is Kinship Month. Franklin County, OH, Children Services would like to thank grandparents, aunts, uncles, other relatives or even family friends who provide consistency and love during a disruptive time for a child. The dictionary defines kinship as a relationship bounded by kin, nature, qualities or affinity. FCCS defines kinship as people who provide children with a stable and loving home during the absence of their parents. They create a sense of belonging while keeping the children connected to their culture and each other. Many kinship families are not blood relatives but the bond and sense of familiarity they create makes them family. Jennifer is one of those kinship families, opening her home and heart to three little girls who needed a safe and stable home. Prior to taking temporary custody of Piper and Aaliah, Jennifer had not met the sisters. She knew their father and agreed to take them based on her close relationship with him. Despite the financial challenges, Jennifer committed to providing a loving home for the girls. She partnered with the FCCS Kinship department to ensure they were up to date on medical appointments and enrolled in daycare and preschool. She also continued regular contact for the children with their biological mom and dad. When the biological mom gave birth to the girl's sister, Jennifer agreed to take the baby into her home and keep the sisters together. Adding a newborn during a pandemic is difficult for anyone, let alone a single working mom. But the girls have been excellent little helpers in caring for baby Lydia, who is growing and meeting all her developmental milestones under Jennifer's care. The day before Jennifer went to court to obtain legal custody of Piper and Aaliah, caseworker Emily asked Piper what happens at court, and she replied, that's where she and her sisters get to be Jenny's babies forever.
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