One Friday afternoon, as Jana was on her way to pickup her grandson from school, she received a very disturbing call. The police had come to her daughter’s apartment the night before, arrested her for drug involvement and taken her grandson, David, into the custody of Marin County’s Child Protective Services. After meeting with CPS, she was able to obtain temporary custody of David and take him home with her to Napa. She was not prepared to instantly become a mother again. David’s father was in jail and there was no one else she could turn to. She needed help and she didn’t know just how much help she needed or where to find it.
After continuing to drive David to Kindergarten for the remainder of the school year, Jana enrolled David in first grade at a Napa elementary school. Soon afterward, David began to have some very difficult issues. He became angry at home and at school. He began crying all the time, kicking Jana and even talking about killing himself. David clearly was traumatized by what had happened to him. To make matters worse, Jana’s job cut her hours from 40 a week to 10. She was at risk of being evicted.
Jana was at her wit’s end looking for help. The principal at David’s school asked, “Have you tried Cope?” Jana called Cope Family Center right away. As Napa’s First Stop for Families, Cope Family Center was able to sort through Jana’s situation and help her design a plan that would address both her and David’s needs. Jana was assigned to Julie, one of Cope’s Home Visitors. Julie immediately sat down with Jana to assess her family’s needs, set goals and access the resources Jana desperately needed.
With Julie’s help, Jana obtained emergency aid (rental assistance, food bank), counseling services, got David into the Boys & Girls Club, and got him a big brother from Big Brothers-Big Sisters. Cope’s home visiting services acted as Jana’s mentor and guided her through the crisis. That was two years ago. Now in third grade, David loves school. He is involved in sports and enjoys the stability and attention he receives from his Big Brother.
Jana’s ultimate goal was to reunite David with his mother, Linda. Linda, too, is now a Cope home visitation client. With Frances as her Home Visitor, Linda has worked hard to start her life over for her son’s sake. She moved to Napa and enrolled in Napa Valley Community College. She began going to counseling and learned to make better choices about drugs. Child Protective Services allowed David to be reunited with his mother. Jana is so grateful for everything Cope did for her and her family. “Without Cope I don’t think David could have gone back with his mother. They saved my life. I honestly don’t know if I could have survived. Cope is a great agency and offers a lot.”
David is now a happy child living with his mom and still sees his grandmother all the time!
- Home Visitation Program
- Jana, Grandmother age 62
- Grandmother and grandson, David aged 6
- Stabilize her instant family and help her grandson adjust to his new home
- Began Program
- January 1st, 2009