Meet the Jones’

Norman and Diana Jones became caregivers to their grandson, who is now 15 years old, when he was an infant. Diana recalls getting a call, while at work, from the Indiana Department of Child Services and being told that her son and his girlfriend had a baby boy who had illicit drugs in his system. Diana rushed home from work because DCS was on their way to speak with her and husband Norman. Diana said they agreed to care for their grandson so he would not be placed in foster care.

Norman said, “I could not imagine letting family go into the system. You are supposed to love and look after family, so we said ‘yes’.” Diana recalls calling friends because she did not know how to mix the baby formula or what size diapers to buy. Soon after, Diana met a woman at the library who knew about The Villages’ Family Connection Network serving kinship families and suggested she give them a call, so she did. Diana said, “Making that call changed my life. I remember going to the support groups and not feeling alone. There were other grandparents going through the same challenges as us. We no longer felt alone.”

Norman is now retired, and Diana continues to work. They travel thirty-two miles each month to attend the Family Connection Network support groups. Norman said he enjoys attending to socialize, learn, and have an enjoyable time with other families like him. Norman and Diana are just another incredible example of the kinship caregivers who sacrifice everything to keep family together. We celebrate them along with the other 82 families we served in 2022.

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