Monday, October 29, 2007

Starting a Kinship Care Get together

Some of you have written to ask how to find a kinship care group in your neighborhood. For many of you a search with social services, newspaper calendar lists, or community resources leave you wondering just where are other kinship care families. You may have to start your own get together. You will find that grandparents raising grandchildren and other relatives who have taken on the big task of raising related children are all around you.
Here are a few steps to find out -
1. Plan a time and place to meet - coffee shop, school, church, senior center
2. Advertise in the neighborhood with posters, at social services, health department, doctors, schools, the places kin families frequent; send news releases with information about the meet up to local media.
3. Arrange safe child care in close prosimity to the gathering.
4. Arrange simple snacks if the place is a public service building.

Once a meet up group begins gathering and learning about their concerns and joys, providers may want to take the next step to organize a bit further by planning regular meeting times and place. They may want to arrange a speaker on a common subject - social services, legal issues, psychological issues, health concerns, school issues. Many organizations offer knowledgeable speakers for free, just ask. Again, be sure to arrange outreach, safe child care, and snacks.
Good luck.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kincare Book, Foster Care, and other Updates

It has been quite a busy fall already. In spite of an emergency surgery that took me fully out of commission, I did manage to get the entire text of the book done, thanks to some very special folks who helped with accuracy issues. There is still much to do on the book yet, I am certainly learning a lot about the publishing business.
There is other news: Today the President of the United States vetoed the bill offering funds for the children's health insurance program. The program supplements funds to States for the children of low-income working families who do not qualify for Medicaid. No where in the discussion do I hear about the huge numbers of kinship care families who depend on this insurance to cover the children in their care. Insurance companies notoriously deny relative care children even when a guardianship is in place. It is terribly sad when our own leader would deny these American families while requesting billions of dollars to fund wars that destroy families. It may be too late, but this is a time to get involved. This is not a partisan issue. Many brave Republicans are taking the lead to override the veto. They may need to hear from us.
Child Welfare League of America is co-sponsoring a briefing to Congress on another financial issue: the costs of Foster Care. The report titled Hitting the MARC: Establishing foster Care Minimum Adequate Rates for Children. Current Foster Care rates, according to the report are not even near adequate. To bring the rates to the reasonable costs of raising children under Foster Care would mean increasing the current rates by as much as 40%. You can see the full report for Hitting the MARC on CWLA's website, .
Well back to work for me. I hope you continue to check this little blog and pass it on to grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship care families.
In peace, Tita