2020 Success Story: Kinship Navigator Program

In October 2020, Danyeill reached out to Lifeline’s Kinship Navigator Program after learning about the program from a Lake County School Principal, who is also a Kinship provider.  After speaking with Program Coordinator Heather Riser, a one-on-one appointment was quickly scheduled.

Danyeill received emergency custody of her three nieces after their home conditions continued to decline and their safety and wellbeing were in question. At the time Danyeill and her husband were living alone as their children are grown. However, this quickly changed as she was now raising three young children who had been exposed to drug abuse and possible other adverse events.

While meeting with Danyeill, she was reassured that she was not alone.  With the opioid epidemic there has been an increase of family members needing to raise others children.

“All too often family members find themselves caring for other’s children, with little or no time to prepare, causing additional stress and financial hardship on the caregivers,” said Riser.

Danyeill was also provided with addition information and referrals for Lake County services to address the family’s needs. One of those referrals led Danyeill to working with Lake County Department of Job and Family Services to receive “Child only benefits.”

“When I got emergency custody of my nieces I did not know there was help out there for the girls, until Heather let me know about the child only benefits. This helped out a lot. I feel that no matter what happens that there is someone in our corner trying,” said Danyeill.

“Being able to connect families with the services that they might not have known even existed, and support them through these trying times is why the program was created,” said Riser.