Crossing State Lines, Connecting Hearts

Published: 9/6/2019

Jackson reconnects with his mother after an earth-shattering event unexpectedly pulled him into the child welfare system.

Jackson has gone through more in his short life than many can even begin to imagine. After a summer visit two years ago, Jackson asked his mom if he could move to Omaha to live with his father and half-sister, Dakota. At the time, Jackson and his mom lived in Wyoming. He missed his dad and wanted to spend more time with his big sister.

Jackson’s mother eventually agreed, torn between granting her son’s wishes and wanting to raise and protect him herself. Never could she imagine the traumatic events that would unfold, hurling her son into Nebraska’s child welfare system and the six-month ordeal she would endure to bring him safely home.

One evening, Jackson’s life quickly changed. This fun-loving, energetic six-year-old boy’s life was turned upside-down after his father, and primary caregiver, was hospitalized in a gang-related drive-by shooting. He was later incarcerated, propelling Jackson and his half-sister into the child welfare system.

Luckily, PromiseShip was able to quickly locate an aunt and uncle of Dakota’s for temporary (and possibly permanent) placement, while Jackson was reconnected with his mother who was still living in Wyoming.

There were many challenges to overcome for Jackson to return to his mother. First, Jackson’s Family Permanency Specialist (i.e. case manager) was able to track down accurate contact information for Jackson’s mother. This allowed the case manager to establish a steady stream of communication between Jackson and his mom. Next, the case manager ensured Jackson’s mother was aware of and active in all court proceedings, all while ensuring appropriate child welfare laws were met in both states.

Through persistence and dedication, Jackson’s case manager was able to ensure he experienced a smooth and timely transition back to his mother’s care.

Jackson is thriving now that he is back in Wyoming and living with his mother. He just started first grade and is involved in soccer. Although he misses his half-sister, Dakota, the two children occasionally talk on the phone and his mother is working to arrange a visit for the siblings. Dakota is also doing very well living with her aunt and uncle. She even switched schools to attend the same school as her cousin and she says they are “best friends.”

With the help of PromiseShip and its network of providers, Jackson and Dakota were able to go from a life of uncertainty to one of permanency, stability and safety.