"Virginia" gained custody of her six grandchildren after they were removed from the care of a drug-addicted parent. The children, ranging in age from 19 days to eight years, were moved to Virginia's home where she also cared for her mother and uncle.
The children suffered from a variety of behavioral and mental health issues that required extra attention. During one of the children's well-child exams, the pediatrician assessed her grandchildren's social-emotional development and asked if Virginia had been experiencing any potential depression and family stress in her new caregiver role. This opened the door for Virginia to share her feelings of stress and anxiety, and of often feeling down.
The pediatrician referred Virginia to the local 1st Five care coordinator for her depression and stress. The care coordinator arranged to meet with her and together they identified a variety of concerns underlying her stress and depression. The care coordinator linked Virginia to sixteen community-based resources to begin addressing these concerns, ranging from Early ACCESS and WIC, to Section 8 housing, a local food pantry, an Early Childhood Iowa-funded home visiting program, and an outpatient counseling program for both her and her grandchildren. Thanks to the pediatrician who asked the questions about stress and depression, and to the 1st Five care coordinator who linked her to community-based resources, Virginia and her grandchildren now have numerous supports in place and a better chance for success.