September is Kinship Care Month

Thursday, August 20, 2015 - By: Alison Michael

grandparent with child

“Celebrating Families Where Children are Raised by Grandparents, Other Relatives and/or Family Friends”

 

Kinship care refers to the more than 150,000 New York children who live full time with grandparents, relatives and/or family friends. Their caregivers, who are frequently at or near income poverty levels, have multiple challenges which often include the additional costs of bringing children into their homes, the endless search for services, the fight to keep a family together, their own health needs, and planning a future for their own children.

More than 95% of New York’s Kinship children do NOT receive foster care benefits, although the reason for their care are frequently similar to the reasons children enter foster care:

  • Parental Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Incarceration
  • Death
  • Alcohol & Substance abuse
  • Mental Illness
  • Unfortunate Circumstances

Despite the obstacles, child welfare experts agree that Kinship homes offer the best resources for vulnerable children, providing resilience, continuity, unconditional love and overall qualities of care that can help severely traumatized children overcome their struggles. Kinship care is an indispensable part of the child welfare system.

The ‘NYS Kinship Navigator’ is a statewide program that serves kinship caregivers, prospective caregivers, and professionals across New York State. The program operates a toll free help line Monday thru Friday 10AM to 4PM, which is staffed by a kinship specialist that can assist with information such as:

  • Financial Assistance
  • Legal Assistance
  • Support
  • Information about local kinship services

Kinship Care Month is both a celebration and an advocacy strategy.

To learn more about Kinship Care Month and for statewide events celebrating our caregivers, please visit our website@  http://nysnavigator.org/pg/professionals/kinship-care-month.php

CALL the program directly at 1-877-454-6463

 

 

 

 

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