Can we talk about kinship care? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 11-18-2019, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Can we talk about kinship care?

(Sigh) Where to start? A month ago I received a phone call from my Mom regarding my niece and nephew. There had been an altercation and she was driving to pick them up. It was late and I was tired. Over the phone, we decided that she would take my niece home with her and my nephew would stay with me, my husband and our son for the night. The following day, I drove both boys to school. I had to go in to my nephew's school to work out details regarding a class trip that was happening that days but had not be paid for. Long story short, when speaking with the secretary, she asked if I would have a moment to meet with my nephews teacher. Of course, I said yes. His teacher arrived and looked as though she had seen a ghost. I don't know that any of my nephews teachers had ever met a parent or family member to date.I quickly learned that he was failing grade 8. He didn't go to school. I was shocked. Four weeks later and he is still with us. With the exception of two overnights at his parents. I don't even know what to do. At first, I kicked into "MOM MODE"...clean clothes, food, homework, time love, energy....all the while not checking in with my own feelings and emotions. On the positive side, in a very short period of time, he has done a complete turn around. Children are a product of their environment! However, I selfishly feel lost. And sad. I don't want to raise my nephew. I want my brother to DO HIS JOB. I want him to love his kids and ask them how their days was. Ask about homework and school, and LIFE. He needs to make lunches. Their house is in a complete state of filth. When I stopped by the other day there was a slice of pizza in the dogs dish. Like for dinner. They are addicts and have seriously neglected their children. My niece has been staying with my other brother and his wife. My mom (Their grandmother) is young and didn't offer to step in. I feel as though this has been left for me to do. It's lonely and changing the dynamic of MY family. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by mckentykel; 11-18-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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#2 of 3 Old 11-19-2019, 04:39 AM
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Hello and thanks for posting! This sounds like a sad and complicated situation. Most kin caregivers agree to help temporarily and don't realize how long it can last. Unfortunately addiction is also complicated. If they are not in treatment and not aggressively trying to get the kids back, this is likely to linger for quite awhile. For the sake of your nephew it might be helpful for you to decide if you can stay in it for the long haul, or ask another family member to take him instead if you are clear you can't raise him. Going to Nar-Anon meetings may help you understand addiction and how to hold your brother accountable but educate you on how it works in the brain. Get some legal help. In most states you can file for guardianship so that you have legal rights to seek care and receive benefits, insurance, etc. for the child. Is DCF involved at all? I applaud you for stepping up to help and it makes sense around now to have everyone in the family meet to figure out how to move forward for a longer stint here.


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#3 of 3 Old 11-20-2019, 11:16 AM
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Just want to post and provide you with support. Your brother is unlikely to change as soon as what is needed.
Maybe try and work on your Mom to help out a bit more?
From the sounds of it YOU are doing a really good job with all of this.
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