Justin entered the child welfare system in 2007 after being removed from the care of his biological mother for child neglect. For two years, Tabor Children’s Services and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) attempted to reunify Justin with his biological family through providing counseling services, parenting classes as well as additional supports to stabilize the family and return them to a healthy state of development. All reunification efforts were unsuccessful; therefore, in 2009 Justin’s permanency goal was changed to adoption.
For 4 years, Justin transitioned to several foster homes. In July 2012, Justin began to work with his Recruiter, Kia Medley-Stephens, through Tabor Children’s Services and the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.
Over the course of 6 months, Kia worked with Justin to establish a positive rapport, with the intent to understand his needs and the type of parent needed to guide Justin throughout his childhood and adolescence.
In January 2013, Justin was introduced to Mr. Doe, a school principal. Immediately, the two connected and started weekly visitation until they were officially matched in April 2013. After living with Mr. Doe for several months, there came a unanimous decision that Justin and Mr. Doe were a complete family unit.
In October 2013, the adoption team petitioned the courts for the legal adoption— and by December 2013, Mr. Doe officially adopted Justin. It was the perfect gift for the two for the holidays: A loving forever family.