Navigating Through Difficult Times With Kinship Connections, WY

Woman and two children in pajamas smiling.Rori is a grandmother who has been parenting her two grandchildren, Miranda and Michael, for the past 2 years. Their mother sent them on a plane from California, and Rori has stepped up and taken on a new role. Parenting a second time around can be very overwhelming.

Rori was introduced to Kinship Connections of Wyoming when the Parent Engagement and Educational Partnership with Schools (PEEPS) staff told her about the program because she needed to get the children health insurance. Gabby, a Kinship Navigator Specialist went over and met with her. Gabby was able to help her with phone calls and paperwork to get the children signed up for Medicaid.

After listening to Rori’s story, Gabby realized that Miranda and Michael would benefit from counseling. Gabby made referrals and now both children are attending counseling sessions twice a month. Gabby also connected Rori to youth nonprofits so they could participate in more activities and groups. The children were unable to participate in these programs because Rori didn’t have guardianship of them. Gabby immediately put together the paperwork and went to Rori’s house to assist her in completing the 32 pages of paperwork for the court. Gabby even went with her to turn the paperwork into the courthouse and attended the virtual hearing with her. Rori now has temporary guardianship of Miranda and Michael and was able to get them into their new activities. “My experience with Kinship Connections of WY has been lifechanging. I now have key pieces in place for my grandkids like insurance, mental health support for them, and the protection of guardianship,” Rori said.

Kinship Connections of Wyoming was created to assist kinship caregivers with finding resources and services they need during a stressful, overwhelming time in their lives. It is important that caregivers know about the many resources available to them and have someone by their side while they figure out how to live life in a different way and create a safe stable placement for the children they are caring for. It is our goal to offer free support and resources to caregivers, so children continue living with family members who know their habits, cultures, and personalities rather than entering the foster care system.

“Raising grandkids is busy and overwhelming. Having the help to navigate paperwork, uncovering resources in the community, and just walking alongside you as you embark on the journey is priceless. I can honestly say that my grandkids and I would not be where we are today without the help of Kinship Connections and Gabby. Thank you for all you do to improve the lives of people in our community,” said Rori about the Kinship program.

To learn more about the Kinship Connections of Wyoming visit its website.