Grandparents raising grandchildren. Kinship Care. Relatives As Parents. A Kinship Guide. Resources for Grandfamilies. These are all key words used by seekers on the new miracle of web searching. How did you find us? I need to know this because though I am deeply passionate about securing children in healthy families, I am sorely weak in the brave new cyber world. Your comments are so appreciated.
Those state agencies who are applying for Navigator Programs from Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act are due July 6. Though there are segments of this grant emphasizing foster care, the potential piece for statewide kinship navigator programs for all grandfamilies are timely. The full announcement from ACF can be viewed here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2009-ACF-ACYF-CF-0078.html
This piece of the legislation is critical to establishing statewide programs to guide ALL relative caregivers. As we have noted before, much emphasis is placed on Relative Foster Care which accounts for about 150,000 children nationwide, yet the other 5 million children raised in kinship care have just a few strong state programs to help guide them through the mysteries of public systems. Most states have little or no guidance except in regional areas. The consequence is that children are left with minimal resources and adult caregivers exasperated by the challenges.
If you are part of an agency that is able to apply for the Navigator Program funding ($450,000/ 30 grants), encourage your team to work diligently toward July 6. The September 4, 2008 Kincare Blog has an entry on Keys to local Kinship Care Resource Centers. Some ideas there may be helpful. A Kinship Guide to Rescuing Children (ISBN 978-0-9801352-0-6) also has a comprehensive section on The Community Kinship Care Resource Center beginning on p. 146.
Best wishes to all of you who work for kinship families and who are kinship families. Every conference I attend, every book talk, every casual encounter with relative caregivers is inspiring and insightful.