LCP Hack

Meet Esther- Johnson County Highlight

Published July 9, 2024
Quarter 3 2024

Esther is a retired secretary living in Johnson County. Retirement isn’t exactly what Esther had imagined. She is the full-time caregiver for her two granddaughters after her son became incarcerated due to a substance abuse issue. She loves being able to care for her grandchildren, but is really struggling to make ends meet with the extra mouths to feed on her fixed income.

One day, Esther was listening to the radio and heard an ad for Wyoming 211. The ad mentioned several different resources that an individual could receive information and referrals for. Feeling like she had no other options, Esther decided to call 2-1-1 to see if they could connect her to the help she was looking for.

Esther was greeted with a friendly voice on the other end of the line. Kim, a Wyoming 211 Community Resource Specialist, was eager to help Esther come up with some information and referrals to accommodate her new situation. Esther first brought up her lack of knowledge of the legal system and the help she needed filing for guardianship of her granddaughters. She also mentioned how alone she felt in this journey because all of her friends were enjoying retirement and now she was back to raising children.

Kim told Esther about the plethora of resources and help that Kinship Connections of Wyoming could provide for her. This is a free information, referral and advocacy program for kinship caregivers in Wyoming. Kinship caregivers are grandparents, relatives and other caregivers who are raising children that are not their own. Esther didn’t even know that the care she was providing her granddaughters had a name – kinship caregiving.

Esther learned that by contacting a Kinship Connections navigator, she could receive help filling out her guardianship paperwork and receive financial assistance to pay for the filing fees. Kim mentioned a few other resources that Esther could receive by contacting a Kinship Connections navigator. Using the contact information she got from Kim, Esther made a phone call that she would be forever grateful for.

Abby, Esther’s Kinship Connections navigator, was extremely informative and gave Esther some much needed assistance with completing her guardianship paperwork. Abby identified funding to pay for Esther’s guardianship filing fee and provided her with support by attending court with her. While getting to know Ester, Abby acknowledged Esther’s feelings of being alone in the struggle as a kinship caregiver. Abby informed Esther of several kinship caregiver support groups that she knew of in Johnson County. Esther was so excited to be able to share her struggles with like-minded individuals going through the same day-to-day trials as she was. Through this kinship caregiver support group, Esther also learned about an after-school childcare program that the school district provides for students’ families.

Esther was so glad she called Wyoming 211 and got connected to her Kinship navigator, Abby. She knew that she was connected to more than just helpful resources for her family. She was connected with hope.

Posted by Wyoming 211
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