ONLY ON FOX5: A bio-parent reunites with her children after being in foster care for over a year

Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 10:30 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The need for foster parents is at an all-time high in Clark County. Thousands of kids need a temporary, safe place to call home until they can rejoin their biological parents.

FOX5 has explained the training and showed you how a home is inspected. The focus now touches on the reunification with a biological parent.

Imagine having your children taken from you and moved into foster care. Maria Agnes Jones said it is something she never saw coming. For more than 365 days she worked hard to get her young ones back.

She explained the steps of her painful journey.

Jones would normally wait for the familiar yellow school bus to drop off her kids. Only one of days in March of 202,0 they never showed.

“My kids had not gotten home yet so I went to the school to see where they were,” said Jones.

But, when Jones got to the school, there still were no answers.

“I was lost and shocked,” said Jones. “I called every number and was on hold. Couldn’t find them really. No one got back to me.”

After spending hours looking for her daughter and two sons, Jones discovered they were taken by child services because she had been accused of child abuse.

“I was confused,” said Jones. “I didn’t know what to do really. Like it was just okay for you guys to just take them were the thoughts in my head.”

While Jones tried to sort it all out, she said the first week without her children was the most painful of all. It was a feeling of loss like she had never experienced.

“It was up and down,” said Jones. “I wasn’t myself. I tried to push through my days, but you know but sometimes I needed mental health days to myself and just cry it out.”

Jones said within a week, she met with a social worker that worker explained the next steps which was weekly monitored in home visits.

The pandemic quickly turned those into virtual calls.

“It was tough with video visits just because I could see how sad they were because I wasn’t there,’ said Jones.

Jones then started parenting classes and went to therapy allowing her to prove she was a fit parent then, the moment she had been waiting for, reuniting with her babies over 365 days later.

“I was a little nervous because I didn’t know how it was really going to go, said Jones. “I didn’t know if my children thought I owed them something. I didn’t know if they were upset with me because of what happened.”

Jones said it took time for her and her kids to heal.

“Just because I got my kids back my case wasn’t closed,” said Jones. “There was still hurdles we had to jump over to finally have the case closed.”

Even then, the county continued watching how Jones interacted with her children.

“We had a safety team that would come when they first came home,” said Jones. “They were there every day.”

Day by day, things got easier and now, that family dynamic is heading down the right track.

“We are back together now, and we have been and we are going strong,” said Jones.

Jones shared what she would tell a future foster parent is the best way they can support a bio parent in regaining custody of their children.

“Transparency I feel like is really key and to not hold over them what happened,” said Jones. “Like the situation, the reason why the kids ended up in foster care.”

The county said foster parents need to maintain contact with the child’s bio parent through monitored visitations and by phone. Then, once the child goes home, it’s up to the parent if they want to stay in touch with the foster parents. Some parents choose to stay in touch because the foster parents become an ongoing source of support for the bio parents.