Anthony* was a very bright 6-year-old when he became a KidsVoice client.

Anthony’s parents were both addicted to drugs. Anthony recalled sleeping on the floor and having to find his own food, even at a young age. He told his KidsVoice attorney, “I don’t think any kid should have to live this way.”

Anthony was placed with his paternal grandparents, which opened up a whole world of family he had never met before. He began to spend time with his older sister, then a college student. She had been adopted as an infant by their aunt and they quickly became close. When his father fatally overdosed, Anthony was surrounded by loving aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins.

KidsVoice advocated for the court to allow Anthony to set his own boundaries for visitations with his mother, so that they could spend time together in a way that felt safe and healthy for them both. 

Anthony and his family thought that his aunt—the same aunt who had adopted his sister—would be the best placement for long-term care, and KidsVoice helped the family voice this in court. Anthony’s aunt became his court-ordered caregiver. With Anthony’s future in mind, KidsVoice assisted in planning a timeline for adoption to ensure that his state benefits and services were all in order.

Anthony started therapy sessions at school, and he thrived in his aunt’s care. The straight-A student took up more hobbies. He joined Boy Scouts and the swim team, learned to play guitar, and even made the basketball team.

Every child in the child welfare system has the right to play sports, join clubs, and do everything else their peers can, but it can feel like court appearances, caseworker visits, and meetings with lawyers get in the way. For KidsVoice, it was a priority to maintain Anthony’s schedule. We planned meetings when it was best for Anthony, whether it was on the weekends or evenings after activities.

At age 13, Anthony’s basketball team made the playoffs, and with the family’s blessing, KidsVoice asked for his upcoming adoption hearing to be pushed back so that he could play. Anthony was thrilled to play, and even more happy to be adopted by his aunt a few weeks later.

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