ASCI Presents A Lived Experience Story ft. Christine Rather

Each month A Second Chance, Inc. shares the voices of our kinship families. We are an agency that strives to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment to children in the care of relatives or close family friends—formally called kinship care. Our goal is to truly understand our kinship families by listening to the irreplaceable insights that the lived experience of caregivers, birth parents, and children can offer to make the narrative authentic and programming more meaningful. As we acknowledge the importance of kinship care, we had the pleasure this month of speaking with former ASCI worker and kinship caregiver, Christine Rather, who shared her touching adoption story.

Christine’s Story

Before joining ASCI’s team in the early 2000s, Christine started her journey in child welfare as an adoption caseworker with another Pittsburgh agency. She continued to do research in child development and, soon, she gained custody of – and eventually adopted – four girls.

When speaking of kinship care, Christine believes that families have a much better chance of growing and mending relationships

The children have a much better chance in life if they’re with their family. Parents are grateful when their situations are mended, and the children prosper. I don’t think it gets much better than that.


Now 81 years old, Christine continues working with children at a daycare center and she also remains a foster parent for youth in care.

Christine shared that three of her four adopted daughters have passed on. The youngest daughter has grown into a beautiful young woman now living in Los Angeles, California.

Advice for Kinship Caregivers and Adoptive Parents

Christine stresses that family is an important basis for support while caring for a child in care. Although each family is unique, individuals affected by adoption are unified by an exceptional bond. Having a support system is a great way for families to help assist and grow with parents who support youth in care. It is also vital for all parents and caregivers to look at their motivation.

It is very important why you do it. If you do it for the money, the children are not going to prosper.


Youth are much more than a paycheck. They are humans with the same emotions as anyone else. Christine believes that children deserve to be loved, cared for, comforted, and much more. Children deserve the right to thrive and be successful, much like Christine’s youngest daughter.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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