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.

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