Reunification Success Story – Heather Ybarra

Almost three years ago to the date, Heather’s son Jessie was removed from her care. Heather had been released from jail due to failure to comply with a drug rehab program, and then went immediately back to using illegal substances in the presence of Jessie. At this time, he was removed from both of his parents and Heather was arrested as a result of the drug use.

Heather was ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation program and worked very hard on maintaining her sobriety and engaged in counseling. It was during this time she reached out to Eckerd Kids to learn more about how to reopen her case and regain custody of her child.

Heather began by initiating visits with her child on weekends when she was permitted visitation and gradually increased her visitations upon release from the facility.

Heather worked very hard on maintaining her sobriety and working her case plan tasks, but in addition to being compliant with the courts, she knew she also had to prove to her son and to her family members that she did in fact make a permanent change in her life.

In time, Heather had proved this to her family and was reunified with Jessie nearly two years later. Heather continues to be employed, has housing, maintains her sobriety and has now become a role model to her son. Their bond continues to grow and that is largely due to the fact that Heather at no time gave up on her son or herself.



  1. Patti Jahn says:

    Such a touching post. It shows how one woman’s courage to change her life, make important and personal goals, to heal from the past of losing her child because of her use of drugs is really inspiring and be to who are ready to give up. Don’t give up, just live one day at a time.

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