Mark’s* ten year old step-granddaughter, Emily, had been living with him for over a year. When Emily had previously lived with her parents, her living situation was difficult. Her parents were unstable: they moved a lot, they fought a lot, and they had difficulty maintaining employment. Other family members contributed more to Emily’s care than they did. In her parents’ care, Emily often shared a room with her parents in temporary living situations. Emily’s grades dropped, and she rarely made it to her medical appointments. Emily has significant food allergies that require management. Once Emily came to live with Mark, he helped her improve her grades. With a more structured schedule, Emily was flourishing. Caring for Emily greatly improved Mark’s life as well. After being in his care for some time, her parents became angry, and abruptly called the police to remove her from Mark’s home. This was a difficult and traumatic setback for Emily. Following a legal intervention by DLK, Mark was established as a de facto custodian, and the court ordered that Emily live with him primarily. Now Emily is able to thrive in a healthy and stable home.
*names have been changed