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Helping a Family Recover

Protecting children and reuniting families are both important goals.

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Evan” is an eight year old who has been represented for several years by the Vermont Law School Legal Clinic Children First! program. When Evan was born, his father was in jail and his mother was an active addict. Both parents agreed to a minor guardianship with Evan being in the care of his mother’s parents.

On several occasions, Evan’s father was released from jail and would try to establish a relationship with his son, but then he would return to jail for parole violations and disappear once again. At the request of Evan’s grandparents, Children First! successfully petitioned the Court to establish a permanent guardianship for Evan with his grandparents.

Eventually, Evan’s father was released from jail and started turning his life around. He consistently wrote to Evan and called when he could. Children First! was able to arrange for a therapist to see Evan and his father together. As of this writing, the family is moving toward regular unsupervised visits between Evan and his father.

Far from resisting, Evan’s grandparents have been extremely understanding. When Children First! last met with Evan in late July, he reported really enjoying having his father back in his life again. While there is still work to do, we hope to reach a permanent visitation schedule soon.

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