When Kearstyn was referred to Easterseals Vermont by the Department of Family Services, she was a new mom juggling an extreme set of circumstances. Her substance use was putting custody of her infant daughter, Armani, at risk. Her case was in family court. What Kearstyn did next would make all the difference in keeping them together.
Kearstyn started meeting with her Easterseals VT Family Engagement Specialist, Jill, for Family Time Coaching sessions. Jill’s support of Kearstyn propelled Kearstyn forward. Still, Kearstyn continued to struggle with substance use. She knew it was all coming down to one thing: could she overcome her addiction?
“My case had been open for a while. I had to turn things around. I had this realization in rehab: ‘it’s now or never,” Kearstyn says. “I didn’t want to lose my daughter.”
Kearstyn’s determination and hard work paid off. On July 7, 2022, Kearstyn’s court case officially closed. She had complied with all court conditions to keep her daughter at home with her.
When asked what made the difference for Kearstyn, Jill says, “She had to believe in herself. That’s what it came down to.”