One day an email came in from one of the licensing specialists at a local DHHS office. She had received a call from someone interested in foster care who had a lot of questions. This licensing specialist stated she had already spent 45 minutes on the phone with this person but felt it would be best to connect her with a Navigator. I contacted this person the next day and was able to provide some more direction and get her information about the licensing process. The licensing specialist thanked me for having the flexibility to give more time to the client.
"We started the process of trying to foster to adopt in October. We let the organization know of the great concerns we had with the current foster parent. They too were concerned and promised us that they would make this case a high priority. At first it went very quickly and then it stalled. We were given every excuse under the sun. They promised to turn in our paperwork on numerous occasions in the months of November, December, and January. We had hit a brick wall and could not understand or get an answer as to why they were not sending our paperwork to Lansing. We did not know where to turn. We even signed a letter of intent to try to get visitation and we were given every excuse in the book as to why we could not get that. Our future son was in a desperate situation and there was nothing we could do. We were not getting phone calls returned or anything. Nothing!
When we called the Navigation number, they took my information and passed it onto Ms. Gant. She called us on a Saturday night!!! We spoke for quite a long time about the situation. She immediately saw the red flags. She helped me to type a letter to the agency and let me know who to send it to. We sent the letter first thing Monday morning, and by 10:00, we were getting phone calls from the agency. They also sent our paperwork into Lansing the following day. WOW!
A few days later we had a meeting scheduled with the team. I contacted her at the last minute and to our surprise, SHE CAME. She was brilliant. She let the team talk and then she demanded (very professionally) that they do certain things. The organization came to the table with one thing in mind. Ms. Gant made sure that we were taken care of. She told them of the red flags that were raised from the very beginning of the process, and she made sure that those red flags were addressed among many other things. She was so professional.
I cannot thank you enough for allowing us to work with such a kind-hearted, wonderful, knowledgeable, asset to your company, Jackie Gant. She was able to get us our future son. She is a miracle worker. Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you again." - The W.Family
I was teaching a PRIDE class, I had a fellow relative provider express some concerns and frustrations with her agency that she is licensed through. An ongoing issue was getting the children's health insurance switched over as their PCP didn't accept their existing insurance anymore. After many calls and messages she got nowhere with her agency. When she finally reached someone, they told her that it would be at least over sixty days before their insurance could be switched. I apologized for the experience she was having with her agency and assured her that this is not a normal experience. I shared my experience going through the same thing and how it was rectified the same day. I also advised her that she should ask to speak with a supervisor as this was a time-sensitive issue in addition to a serious issue in providing an appropriate level of care for her children. The next day she thanked me so much and was so appreciative of taking the time to talk with her and assist her with getting her issue taken care of. She was happy to inform me that she was in touch with the supervisor and was told they would handle it personally and it would be completed within 48 hours. It's experiences like this that make me proud to be a Foster Care Navigator. It's the practical and real-life experience as a current foster and adoptive parent that enable me to provide the highest level of service and care to our clients