Cost: Free to kinship families. This event is only open to people raising a relative’s child and their whole family.
Category: ‘Kinship Caregiver Resources’
Cost: Free to kinship families. This event is only open to people raising a relative’s child and their whole family.
Food, Fun and Family!
All kinship families in Las Vegas are invited to Foster Kinship’s second annual Fall Family Event, sponsored by the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living. Guests who RSVP will also receive a box of non-perishable food perfect for a holiday meal and a small grocery voucher.
When: Saturday, November 23
Time: 2-5 PM
Where: The Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living 4325 North Rancho Drive, Suites 110-120, Las Vegas, NV.
RSVP by November 20th: (702) 546-9988
We are pleased to announce a free family event for any kinship families residing in Clark County.
Let’s celebrate the start of fall together! Join us for a delicious BBQ picnic, shave ice, music, and fun activities for the whole family! This event is free but space is limited to 100 people so sign up today!
This event is made possible by the partnership with the Centers for Spiritual Living in Las Vegas. September 14th is the Worldwide Day of Service.
Date: Saturday, September 14th
Time: 1-3 PM
Location: Children’s Memorial Park, 6601 W Gowan Rd, Las Vegas, NV
Yesterday’s Back to School, Back to Basics event served over 300 children in foster and relative care with backpacks and food to get the school year started right!
This event was made possible by a partnership between Department of Family Services’ Peggy’s Attic, Foster Kinship, Fostering Southern Nevada and Three Square, as well as generous donations from individuals and organizations in our Las Vegas community.
Click the link to watch the complete Channel 8 live news coverage from yesterday’s Back to School, Back to Basics event:
Review Journal Coverage of the Peggy’s Attic and Foster Kinship Back to Basics Event:
Summer is almost here, and with it, more time with your children! For some, this can be difficult, as you have to re-balance childcare needs and find activities for the family. It can also be expensive! But there are ways to meet childcare needs on a budget and have some fun too!
Foster Kinship has pulled together some information on local childcare and summer activities. All the information is taken directly from the organizations website and consolidated here for your convenience. Please contact the organization directly for applications and questions. Many places will offer discounts or free childcare depending upon your financial circumstances.
Clark County Library (http://www.lvccld.org/):
The library is a great place to take the kids. Check for storytimes and other free activities offered by your local branch.
Get the kids reading all summer long by signing them up for Club Read: Registration for Club Read, our free program designed for kids and teens to read, earn prizes and have fun, begins Saturday, June 1 and continues through Saturday, August 3. Stop by any library branch to pick up a reading log or register online.
Children from birth to 11 years of age have one log, and teens in grades six and up have a different log just for them. Kids and teens can earn prizes by keeping track of their reading. Every child who signs up for Club Read will get a membership card and a special wallet to put it in!
All participants earn a Book Buck for every five books that are read aloud to them or they read on their own. They can exchange the Book Buck at any Library District Foundation Used Bookstore for a book of their choice. After they read 20 books, they’ll earn a special prize!
Entertaining programs throughout the District will help toddlers, children and teens enjoy the summer, such as a theatrical adaptation of The Secret Garden, a Fratello Marionettes performance of Aladdin, Tony Daniels magic show, storyteller Jim Cogan, storytimes, music, yoga and more.
Call (702) 734-READ to find your local branch and for more information.
Las Vegas Urban League Child Care Subsidy Program (http://www.lvul.org/childcare.html):
The Las Vegas Urban League’s Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to income eligible families who struggle with the high cost of child care. We work to empower parents to make the choices that will lead to self-sufficiency. Our program is contracted through the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) with the purpose of connecting our families to a variety of quality child care programs at an affordable cost.
2470 N. Decatur
Las Vegas, NV 89108
For your convenience, we have provided an application for child care subsidy.
Sizzling Summer Pass: Enjoy everything the Y has to offer for 4 full months!
- $99 for individuals, only $199 for families
- Access to pools, water parks, wellness centers, group classes and more
- Full member benefits at all four Y locations
- Good for 4 full months from date of purchase
OFFER EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2013
Summer Day Camps: It’s the Summer to Shine! Registration is now open for all of the Y’s Summer Day Camps.
- June 10-August 23, 9am-4pm
- FREE CAMPER CARE 7-9am & 4-6pm
- Traditional camp and tons of speciality camps and field trips
- Financial assistance available
For Summer Day Camp information and schedules, select from the location below:
Boys and Girls Clubs (http://www.bgclv.org/):
Join the fun! Becoming a Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas member is easy. The Club offers more than 100 fun-filled, value-based programs that include arts and crafts, games, team sports, homework help, and so much more. Visit your local Clubhouse for a tour and to pick up a membership application.
1. Find a Club that is near your home, school, or place of employment.
2. Download a membership form click here. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF file. Download it free here.
3. Bring this membership form along with your membership fee to the Club and you are ready to have fun and learn new skills.
For more information about hours and fees please call (702) 367-2582 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Care Assistance (CCA): No child is ever turned away for economic reasons. Free Child Care Assistance is available at all Clubhouses for all fee-based programs. Your Program Administrative Assistant will be happy to provide the necessary paperwork.
If you would like your child to join a Club, please complete a Membership Application and submit the application and membership fee of $20 (*5-12) or $10 (Teens) to the Clubhouse nearest you upon registration.
**Check with your local Boys & Girls Club for hours of operation
2850 Lindell Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 368-0317 | Fax (702) 367-9522
Cross Roads: Sahara & Decatur
2980 Robindale Rd.
Henderson, NV 89014
(702) 614-8550 | Fax (702) 614-8553
Cross Roads: Eastern & Robindale
800 N. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 638-1120 | Fax (702) 638-0190
Cross Roads: Washington & Martin Luther King
920 Cottage Grove Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 731-6658 | Fax (702) 731-6682
Cross Roads: Flamingo & Maryland Pkwy.
2801 E. Stewart Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 388-2828 | Fax (702) 388-1326
Cross Roads: Stewart & 28th Street
2530 E. Carey Ave.
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
(702) 399-3172 | Fax (702) 649-1952
Cross Roads: North Las Vegas Blvd. & Carey
3540 Cambridge St.
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 792-1388 | Fax (702) 792-0505
Cross Roads: Maryland Pkwy. & Dumont
Wet ‘N Wild: http(//www.wetnwildlasvegas.com/):
New this summer! Wet’n'Wild Las Vegas is located in southwest Las Vegas, near I-215 between Sunset Road and W. Warm Springs Road on Fort Apache Road- 7055 S. Fort Apache Road.
There are two great passes on sale at Wet’n'Wild now including the Season Pass and the Gold Pass. Both passes offer you unlimited entry to the park during the season’s public operating days and times, and the Gold Pass provides you with VIP benefits, including FREE parking and discounts inside the park. Passes are assigned to a specific person and are non-transferable.
2013 Pass Pricing (ages 3+)
Season Passes and Gold Passes are both great value and offer you an entire season of unlimited fun. Right now you can save even more with the Family & Friends Deal when you purchase 4 or more passes. This Friends & Family discount is only available when you purchase 4 or more of the same pass type (Season Pass or Gold Pass). Gold Pass and Season Pass combinations are not eligible for the Family & Friends discount. Season Passes can be upgraded individually to Gold Passes at Guest Services, once the park is open for the season. The price to upgrade may vary depending on the price paid for the Season Pass and the advertised Gold Pass price at time of the upgrade.
Fees for parking, food, merchandise, tube and locker rentals, games, special concerts or events are not included in Season Pass or Gold Pass prices, unless otherwise stated.
City of Las Vegas Summer Camps (http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/find/21337.htm) :
Kids Kamp (ages 6-11)
Teen Kamp (ages 12-15)
Summer Kids Kamp offers children and teens fun, fitness and adventure with age-appropriate activities, including arts & crafts, games, sports, special events and/or field trips, all in a safe, supervised environment.
Camp hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some camps have extended weeks through August.
Fees are $75 per child per week, $70 each additional child.
Not all camps are held at all locations. Call the individual facility for details.
Cimarron Rose Community Center, 5591 N. Cimarron Road, (702) 229-1607
Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St., (702) 229-6374
Stupak Community Center, 300 N. Boston St., (702) 229-2488
Rafael Rivera Community Center, 2900 E. Stewart Ave., (702) 229-4600
$100 per child per week, $90 each additional child
Clark County Summer Camps (http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/parks/pages/day-camp.aspx):
(702) 455-8251 – CCParks@ClarkCountyNV.gov
Day Camp is extremely popular and available space in the program fills quickly. Priority for registration will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Mail in registration that is postmarked before the mail in date will be returned. Drop in registration is accepted if space is available.
|What parents need to know?
||What can my child do at Day Camp?
How do I reserve a spot for my child?
|What does it cost to join Day Camp?
||That’s a lot of money up front. Do I have any payment options if my child will be attending for several weeks?
We provide free breakfast and lunch for all registered participants in our summer camps.
Clark County Parks and Recreation assures the Nevada Department of Education that meals will be served to all children without charge. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.
There is no Summer Food Program on June 6 & 7, 2013
The Summer Food Program will start June 10 and go through August 23, 2013
Where is the nearest program?
|Bob Price Recreation Center
2050 Bonnie Lane 89156
Nellis & Lake Mead
|Cambridge Recreation Center
3930 Cambridge St. 89119
Maryland & Flamingo
|Helen Meyer Community Center
4525 New Forest Dr., 89147
Rainbow & Tenaya
& Community Services Center
1650 S. Hollywood, 89142
Hollywood & Sahara
|Paradise Recreation Center
4775 McLeod, 89121
McLeod & Tropicana
|Walnut Recreation Center
3075 N. Walnut 89115
Las Vegas Blvd. & Cheyenne
Springs Preserve Summer Camps (http://www.springspreserve.org/education/summercamps.html):
Let your kids run wild here! Springs Preserve Summer Adventure Camps offer something for every young explorer, with 11 full-day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), week-long camps June 10 to Aug. 23 for children ages 6 to 12.
Campers experience new activities each week. Get face-to-face with a Gila monster, make eco-friendly crafts, go on a nature walk or scavenger hunt, explore our museums, climb a 9-foot kapok tree and explore a gorilla’s nest in our exclusive summer Rainforest Adventure exhibit. Ready for more? Act out and get silly (or serious!) with drama pros on our stage and even go for a swim at the nearby Y. Kids have fun and come home knowing more about the world around them, but we won’t let on! Educational experts lead the fun, so skip the day-care and explore more this summer.
Enrollment is $200 per week ($180 for Springs Preserve members). After-hours care is available from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m. for an additional $25 weekly fee. Register online, at the Springs Preserve ticket office, or by calling (702) 822-7700.
Discovery Children’s Museum Summer Camp (http://www.discoverykidslv.org/summer-camp-july-1-august-2-2013/) :
Come play and learn with us this summer! Bring your curiosity and sense of wonder as you join Museum educators for fun activities that focus on science, art and more. There’s something for everyone at DISCOVERY Children’s Museum!
Sessions will be offered in the morning (8 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and afternoon (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) Weekly camp sessions are offered for two age groups: 6 to 9 years, and 10 to 12 years.
PRICES: $180.00 per camp session (1/2 day) per week; Museum members receive a 20% discount per camp, per week. Between Care is FREE with purchase of both morning and afternoon camps in the same week (same children); $25 per week with half day camp registration only. Additionally, an add-on lunch (provided daily) option is available for $75.00 per week, per child.
SPACE IS LIMITED, call the museum reservationist at 382-KIDS (5437).
Non-Needy Relative Caretaker (NNRC) TANF in Nevada
PLEASE NOTE: Most of this information is taken from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Welfare and Supportive Services websites (links provided). Foster Kinship is not a representative of DWSS and encourages all relative caregivers to speak to a caseworker at the closest welfare office for specific answers to their particular situation. This information is provided as a starting point only.
NNRC TANF Summary
Most children living apart from their parents- including those living with family members- are eligible for cash assistance through TANF, even if the family member they are living with is not eligible.
As a non-parent relative, you may apply for assistance for your child only OR for your child and yourself. Before beginning to apply for any of the TANF programs, it is wise to obtain a copy of the application and the requirements to qualify.
There is great confusion out there about how grandparents and other relatives apply for aid for the children in their care and how that aid is determined. If your relative is eligible for assistance, don’t let misinformation deprive him/her of it.
In Nevada, if your relative’s children are living with you and the biological parents are not, and you are providing full time care for the children, you should consider applying for Non-Needy Relative Caretaker (NNRC)TANF.
Nevada TANF Benefits are managed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services: Division of Welfare and Supportive Services:https://dwss.nv.gov/
Full-time relative caregivers do not need legal custody or guardianship to apply for assistance on the child’s behalf.
IMPORTANT: WRITE NNRC/CHILD ONLY on the TOP OF YOUR APPLICATION!! This will hopefully help avoid any mistakes where your application is rejected because it is unclear you are not asking for assistance for yourself.
Non-Needy relatives can receive a small cash stipend each month to provide for the care of the children. Your household income cannot exceed 275% of the poverty guideline (versus 130% of poverty for regular TANF programs). So even if you have applied for assistance for yourself in the past and been rejected you may be eligible for NNRC TANF now.
Once your household has qualified for NNRC TANF, only the CHILD’S INCOME IS COUNTED TO DETERMINE BENEFITS. For example, some children may have income if they receive SSI.
Description of Program (https://dwss.nv.gov/pdf/EP_Man_A-1000.pdf):
A Non-Needy Relative Caregiver (NNRC) is a relative, other than a legal parent, not requesting assistance for themselves and only requesting assistance for a relative child(ren). The NNRC must be a relative of specified degree and the child must be living in the home of a specified relative.
The child(ren) must be living with the individual applying for assistance on their behalf that provides care and supervision and is the child’s (not all inclusive):
- Father, mother, sister, brother, grandfather, grandmother;
- Uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin; OR
- Stepfather, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrother
NNRC TANF is a Child only program (TANF-CHILD) – These are households with no “work eligible” adults, is considered assistance; and time limits do not apply. This program is designed for households not having a work eligible individual. No adults receive assistance because the caregiver is a non-needy relative caregiver.
The gross income test is 275% of the Federal Poverty Level. This test will be applied to all NNRC households at initial eligibility, when a change of countable income is reported, at the Review of Eligibility if new or increased countable income is reported or a new household member who is related to the child(ren) and has countable income is reported.
The countable gross earned and unearned income will be determined according to current TANF policy of all adults and children in the household with a relationship (by blood or marriage) to the child(ren) for whom assistance has been requested.
● Earned income disregards and work expense are not applied and TANF assistance is exempt
All adult household members whose income is countable in the gross income test, who did not sign the application form, are required to sign an Interface Consent, Form 2179-EE, allowing DWSS to interface with other federal and state records for eligibility and income verification.
If the total countable gross income is below the 275% income test, only the child(ren)’s, income and resources are used to determine the TANF Kinship Care eligibility and payment. If the child has no income, you should receive the maximum payment per child.
The following table provides a guide to income levels and maximum payment amounts. A maximum payment is issued when there is no countable income.
TANF Need Standard and Payment Allowance
For Each Additional Household Member Add:
Health Insurance for Children (https://dwss.nv.gov/TANFFacts.html#DWSSans-02):
Household’s who apply for TANF and are also interested in medical assistance, must also apply for TANF-Related Medicaid (TRM).
Medical coverage through other Medicaid programs such as Children’s Health Assurance Program (CHAP) is available to minor children and pregnant women.
The state also offers the Nevada Check Up Program to children who do not qualify for CHAP.
Application Process (https://dwss.nv.gov/TANFFacts.html#DWSSans-03):
Apply online or at the office closest to you- if you do not go to the right district office staff will inform you of the correct office location- so call first to confirm. If you ask, staff will accept your application and forward it to the correct office.
IMPORTANT: WRITE NNRC/CHILD ONLY on the TOP OF YOUR APPLICATION!! This will hopefully help avoid any mistakes where your application is rejected because it is unclear you are not asking for assistance for yourself.
Belrose District Office
700 Belrose Street
Las Vegas, NV 89107
(702) 486-1646 – (702) 486-1628 (fax)
Flamingo District Office
3330 Flamingo Road, Suite 55
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(702) 486-9400 (main) – (702) 486-9401 (fax)
(702) 486-9540 (fax)
Henderson District Office
520 Boulder Highway
Henderson, NV 89015
(702) 486-5000 – (702) 486-1270 (fax)
Nellis District Office
611 N Nellis Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89110
(702) 486-4828 – (702) 486-4737 (fax)
Owens District Office
1040 W Owens Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 486-1899 – (702) 486-1802 (fax)
Pahrump District Office
1840 Pahrump Valley Road
Pahrump, NV 89048
(775) 751-7400 – (775) 751-7404 (fax)
Documents Needed for Application (https://dwss.nv.gov/TANFFacts.html#DWSSans-16):
You need proof of the information provided, so it’s very helpful to bring as many of the following items as you can:
- Proof of residency (lease agreement, rent receipt, mortgage, utility bills).
- A Nevada driver’s license or other identification (ID).
- A social security card or proof you have applied for one.
- Proof of birth for all persons applying for assistance.
- Proof of citizenship for all household members.
- Marriage and/or divorce decree.
- Proof of school attendance for school age children.
- Proof of income received, such as pay stubs or a statement from your employer, Social Security Administration, child support payments, loans, etc.
- Latest bank statements and proof of other assets such as vehicles, property.
- Verification of household composition (who lives in the home and their relationship to the child(ren)).
- Verification of subsidized housing assistance.
Child Support Enforcement (https://dwss.nv.gov/TANFFacts.html#DWSSans-12):
All cases for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and medical programs where the adult and child(ren) receive Medicaid must be referred for Child Support Enforcement. : The responsible relative caregiver who is applying for or receiving TANF NEON or Child Only cash assistance must cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) requirements by:
- Surrendering and endorsing all support and/or medical support payments to the state after TANF NEON or Child Only cash benefits are approved.
- Providing information on the non-custodial parent (NCP);
- Participating in efforts to locate the NCP (absent parent);
- Establishing paternity when necessary;
- Establishing a child support order;
Failure to cooperate without good cause, will result in the denial or termination of TANF NEON, Child ONLY and/or TANF-Related Medicaid (TRM) for all household members. Medicaid from another program will be considered for the child(ren). If the responsible adult is a pregnant woman, she will continue to receive pregnancy related Medicaid coverage during her pregnancy.
The relative caregiver has the right to claim “good cause”, and request a determination of its validity, for not cooperating with CSEP.
If you have general questions for Foster Kinship please call 702-546-9988 during our helpline hours 2-5 PM PST on Tuesdays, or email email@example.com.
For questions regarding qualification, your specific family circumstances, or application specific questions please contact your welfare office.
April 1, 2013 – LAS VEGAS, NV: Local 501c3 nonprofit Foster Kinship held an Easter egg hunt and picnic for kinship families Saturday March 30th at Children’s Memorial Park. Over 260 individual who are raising their relative’s children were signed up to attend, and over 40 people volunteered to assist.
Kinship caregivers and their entire families enjoyed free BBQ, Shave Ice from Real Kine Shave Ice, an Easter egg hunt with over 900 eggs, egg decorating, pictures with the Easter bunny, face painting, games and prizes. 150 children received Easter Baskets at the conclusion of the event. Foster Kinship also announced the expansion of services to caregivers at the event.
The event was made possible by the community outreach volunteers from the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living and generous donations from CareMore, American West Development, Ebunny, and Real Kine Shave Ice.
Foster Kinship was founded in December 2011 to help relatives who have taken on the difficult job of creating safe, loving homes for vulnerable children when the parents are no longer able or willing to do so. It is the only organization in NV dedicated to providing support and resources to the over 19,000 kinship caregivers raising 35,000 children in Clark County.
Here is a collection of books we have found useful. Please add your suggestions in the comments!
- Advocating for Children in Foster and Kinship Care by Mitchell Rosenwald and Beth Riley: “A guide to getting the best out of the system for caregivers and practitioners.”
- Raising Our Children’s Children by Deborah Doucette-Dudman.
- Raising Your Children’s Children: Help for Grandparents Raising Grandkids by Martha Evans Sparks.
- Grandparents as Parents: A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family by Sylvie de Toledo and Deborah Edler Brown.
- The Sacred Work of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren by Elaine K. Williams.
- Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care edited by Joseph Crumbley and Robert Little.
- Kinship Foster Care: Policy Practice and Research edited by Rebecca L Hegar and Maria Scannapieco.
March 6, 2013 – LAS VEGAS, NV: Local 501c3 nonprofit Foster Kinship is expanding services to kinship caregivers in the valley. The expansion will kick off with a third free family event for individuals who are raising their relative’s children in Clark County, NV. Additional services also include a weekly telephone helpline and additional support and resource groups.
Foster Kinship was founded in December 2011 to help relatives who have taken on the difficult job of creating safe, loving homes for vulnerable children when the parents are no longer able or willing to do so. It is the only organization in NV dedicated to providing support and resources to the over 19,000 kinship caregivers raising more than 35,000 children in Clark County.
On Saturday March 30, Kinship caregivers and their entire families are invited to a free Easter Picnic held at Children’s Memorial Park from 12-2 PM. Families will enjoy BBQ, Shave Ice, an Easter egg hunt, egg decorating, pictures with the Easter bunny, face painting, games and prizes. Foster Kinship will announce the expansion of services to caregivers at the event and community organizations will be also on hand to provide relevant information to caregivers.
This free event is open to anyone who is primarily responsible for raising their relative’s child, regardless of the caregiver’s age or the child’s custody status.
Community Partners for the Easter Picnic include: Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living, Real Kine Shave Ice, CareMore.
The event will take place at noon on Saturday, March 30th at Children’s Memorial Park.
Links to articles on Kinship Care published nationally and internationally in 2012. Happy Reading!
November 13, 2012: Kinship care on the rise in Massachusetts
Raising children is a challenge even under the most ideal circumstances, and the ideal circumstances are increasingly hard to find. Today, children are often born into less traditional families or to parents who are unable to provide them with the care necessary to live a healthy, happy life. While many of these children move into the foster care system or become adopted by another family, some are lucky enough to have a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative who can step in as a “parent,” both emotionally and financially…
Children whose parents are in the picture but are not capable of providing care face another huge emotional barrier: seeing their parents or even living with them, but not truly seeing them as parents. This can be problematic for the guardian as well, as they’re caring for multiple generations under one roof at a heightened age with parental roles seriously blurred.
Families experiencing the emotional and financial struggles associated with kinship guardianships or adoptions are often overlooked because these relationships are historically easier to adjust to than non-kinship adoptions, but their struggles are very real. In our state, the majority of kinship guardians are grandparents, 13 percent of whom are living in poverty, according to DCF. As a state, we do a great job providing services to these caregivers, including the Massachusetts Department of Social Services’ Kinship Care Resource program, but it’s important to continue to push our leaders to recognize the difficulties kinship families endure and make sure guardians are well aware of the resources that are available not only to them, but to the parents and children involved as well…Read Full Article Here
October 1, 2012: Kinship parenting on the rise in Vt, nationally
Essex, Vt. – On a recent morning in Essex, Vt., it was still dark; just after 6:00. But the Hamlin household was already wide awake. With five kids, there was a lot of hair to style, teeth to brush, backpacks to stuff, and even cats to chase.
But as New England Cable News learned on a visit with the family, none of the children are biologically Brenda Hamlin’s. “Who’d have thought we’d have adopted three grandchildren and be raising nieces?” Brenda Hamlin asked.
She already raised five kids of her own, but then took in three step-grandchildren, a niece, and a great-niece when their parents couldn’t care for them. “I really appreciated it,” said niece Brianna Caron, a high school junior. “It’s really nice.”
Hamlin said some of the children now in her care were born addicted to drugs. “If she didn’t adopt me, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now,” grandson Dyllan Hamlin, a seventh grader, said…Read Full Article and see Video Here
September 28, 2012: Richland County focuses on keeping kids with kin
The nation honors and salutes grandparents during September, and rightfully so. We owe them a national debt of thanks that grows larger with each passing year.
That is because today, more than ever, we rely on grandparents (and other relatives) to assist in the safe growth and development of children. It’s also why the federal and state governments have proclaimed September to be “Grandparent/Kinship Month.”…Read Full Article Here
September 18, 2012: Richland County focuses on keeping kids with kin
PIERRE | Gov. Dennis Daugaard has declared the month of September as Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota to recognize the many families who have opened their homes to care for their kin in times of need.
Kinship care is a living situation in which a relative takes primary responsibility for the care of a family member, most often a child or elderly individual. Kinship care enables family members to live with people they know and trust, provides a sense of hope, and reinforces the family member’s sense of personal and cultural identity.
“We look for family members first and foremost to care for those who are found in an unsafe environment,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “Families serve as the primary source of love, identity and support.”
The month of September continues as a time to honor and recognize kinship care, promoting awareness to those who play a valuable role in supporting children and elderly individuals in South Dakota.
August 27, 2012: Missionaries Urge Shift in Orphan Care
A new movement in orphan care seeks to place Third World kids with communities and kin instead of warehousing them in orphanages…Members of the network say they’ve realized what many full-time international missionaries have known for years: That in many cases the world’s 150 million Third World orphans are better served by their own families and communities than by orphanages… Read Full Article Here
August 6, 2012: Kinship Caregivers Gaining in Numbers
Toledo, OH —When Roy Jenkins was asked by the courts to care for his grandchildren, he thought the situation would be temporary, and they’d be living with him for a year or two. That was eight years ago. Mr. Jenkins, a North Toledo resident, is raising three of his grandchildren, ages 13, 10, and 8.
“It wasn’t where I expected to see my life at 53,” Mr. Jenkins reflected recently. “But I love my daughter and I love my grandchildren.”
He and his family are part of a growing group. Nationally, extended family and close family friends care for more than 2.7 million children, an increase of almost 18 percent over the last decade, according to a recent study about kinship care, “Stepping Up for Kids,” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation…Read Full Article Here
July 9, 2012: Florida’s Social Worker of the Year- Kinship Center Director Anne Strozier
Tampa, FL — USF’s Florida Kinship Center Director Anne Strozier earns local and state-wide recognition for her work.
…Strozier’s commitment and passion for studying the subject of kinship care in particular and helping the people engaged in caring for relatives’ children – is profound. That passion drives her to advocate year after year for the people she calls “unsung heroes.” She’s active both locally and all the way to Tallahassee where she has taken on the job of educating legislators for the past decade.
‘Legislators have gone from questions like, ‘What is kinship care?’ to a greater understanding of the problems family caregivers face,” she said. “Believe it or not, there are more than 350,000 being raised by their relatives in Florida. That’s more than the number of children in foster care in the state. Most of these are grandparents who thought their child-rearing days were behind them and who have had to put off retirement – sometimes indefinitely.
The most pressing issue is making the same benefits that routinely go to strangers available to relatives who care for their siblings, grandchildren, nephews, nieces or cousins whose birth parents are unable to do so. In order to get help, children have to be removed from their homes and spend time the foster care system before official placement and many families understandably don’t want to put children through that.
“I never cease to be amazed by the extent to which people take on raising children with little or no help and sometimes these are people who desperately need financial and emotional support. Most are informal caregivers who don’t get the support they need. They save states, counties and entire nations a lot of money because they love the children they are raising and want to keep them with the family. But it costs a lot to raise a child.”
The center she founded empowers kinship care families by establishing and facilitating support groups. Under her direction the center has developed curriculum and training for kinship caregivers and professionals and conducts research. ”…Read Full Article Here
July 8, 2012: Caregivers Worry About Funding Changes to Kinship Program
ST. PETERSBURG, FL —…[Catholic Charities] is the second subcontractor to pull out of the Pinellas County [Florida] program. Big Brothers Big Sisters, which served families from Gulf-to-Bay to Park Boulevard, ended its contract in October.
“We picked up that piece and expanded that service in a seamless fashion,” Rickus said. “They were looking to get back to their mission and Kinship Care was not their mission. I’m going to assume that Catholic Charities is in a similar boat. I know there’s been some good times and some challenging times in performing their contract. This is a very small contract for them.”
Now some caregivers are concerned that their families will lose the sense of belonging they have enjoyed by attending regular meetings at Catholic Charities….Read Full Article Here
May 23, 2012: More Support Needed for Kinship Caregivers
NEW YORK (AP) — As more of America’s children are raised by relatives other than their parents, state and local governments need to do better in helping these families cope with an array of financial and emotional challenges, a new report concludes.
Compared to the average parent, these extended-family caregivers are more likely to be poor, elderly, less educated and unemployed, according to the report, “Stepping Up For Kids”, being released Wednesday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Yet despite these hurdles, child-welfare experts say children who can’t be raised by their own parents fare better in kinship care than in the regular foster care system.
“We urge state policymakers to make crucial benefits and resources available to kinship families so that their children can thrive,” said the Casey Foundation’s president, Patrick McCarthy.
According to 2010 census data, about 5.8 million children, or nearly 8 percent of all U.S. children, live with grandparents identified as the head of household. However, many of those children have one or both of their parents in the household, as well as grandparents.
The Casey report focuses on the estimated 2.7 million children being raised in the absence of their parents by grandparents, other relatives or close family friends. The report says this category of children — whose parents might be dead, incarcerated, implicated in child abuse or struggling with addiction — increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.
The majority of such living arrangements are established informally, but as of 2010 there also were 104,000 children formally placed in kinship care as part of the state-supervised foster care system.
These children accounted for 26 percent of all children removed from their homes by child welfare agencies and placed in state custody, but practices vary widely. In Florida and Hawaii, kinship care accounts for more than 40 percent of the children in foster care; in Virginia, the figure is only 6 percent.
Through the Fostering Connections Act of 2008 and other programs, federal funds are available to assist children who leave foster care to live under the legal guardianship of relatives. However, states vary in how generously they allocate such funds, and the Casey report said more outreach is needed to ensure that kinship-care families know their options.
“They’re trying to navigate this system on their own, and there’s not a lot of knowledge about what benefits they’re eligible for,” said Mark Testa, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work.
“They’re actually doing a heroic job in keeping these kids part of the family, and they deserve our gratitude,” he said. “Without them, our foster care system would be overwhelmed.”
Donna Butts of the advocacy group Generations United estimated that kinship caregivers save U.S. taxpayers more than $6 billion a year by sparing state and local governments the cost of foster care.
“We shouldn’t then just leave them alone,” Butts said. “They need information, they need support, they need respite. Both the children and the caregivers need help.”
Among the problems encountered by kinship caregivers, according to the Casey report:
—Many of them take on children who were abused or neglected, and are coping with the trauma of family separation.
—They sometimes lack the legal authority for enrolling a child in school or obtaining medical care.
—Though most kinship families are eligible for federal aid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, many caregivers are unaware of this option or are reluctant to apply because of perceived stigma.
—Their eligibility for financial aid may be constricted by licensing requirements that were designed for foster parents and aren’t always appropriate for kinship families. Such requirements might include foster-parent training programs and regulations pertaining to the square footage and window size in bedrooms.
“Under federal law, unless they can meet the same hypertechnical licensing requirements as strangers, they are not, in fact, entitled to the help that total strangers get,” said Richard Wexler of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.
Among the agencies viewed as a leader in the field is greater Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Department of Human Services, which makes kinship arrangements for more than half of its children in foster care.
“It’s much less traumatic if they can go to someone they know and love, and who knows them, as opposed to going to strangers, no matter how well-intentioned that stranger is,” said the department’s director, Marc Cherna.
The department policy is to pay kinship caregivers the same rates as other foster parents, and work with them on how to optimize the children’s long-term prospects.
According to the Casey report, one in 11 American children lives in kinship care for at least three consecutive months. For black children, the ratio is one in five.
Morrisella Middleton, 62, of Baltimore, raised two of her grandchildren for many years while also working full-time as supervisor of an assisted living facility. The children’s mother — Middleton’s daughter — had struggled with drug problems and their father died of cancer.
It wasn’t easy. Middleton went on disability after incurring congestive heart failure and hypertension, and relied almost entirely on Social Security benefits. Her grandson, Shane, also had chronic health problems related to lead poisoning, she said.
“I did not get the money like people do who are foster parents,” Middleton said. “The road has not been easy, but the reward has been so very satisfying. I see the fruits of my labors.”
Shane, now 19, recently began a job as a retail stock clerk. The granddaughter, LaQuanna, is 24 and works as a pharmacy technician.
Would Middleton advise others to consider kinship care?
“If you love these children and you want them to have a chance, then you don’t have a choice,” she said. “In somebody else’s home, or in a group facility, they’re not going to get the chance that you could give them.”
May 6, 2012: Resurrection: A Mother In Prison, and Out
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — …Many children of incarcerated parents end up in kinship care—living with grandparents or other relatives. The other alternative is the foster care system. However, according to a 2011 report from the New York State Kinship Navigator, kinship care, not foster care, provides the largest single resource for placement of children with incarcerated parents…Read Full Article Here
May 1, 2012: Families Need More Support to Take on Caring Role
UK — The idea of children being cared for by members of their extended family is nothing new, in fact it has been around for centuries.
But increasingly it is being looked at as an alternative to taking children into local authority care or traditional fostering, as research suggests encouraging children and young people to stay with family members when they cannot remain with their own parents has a more positive effect on them. Read more: Families need more support to take on caring role | Redditch Standard
April 28, 2012: Kinship Foster Families Receive Little Reimbursement
ARIZONA — Criss Weeks and her husband didn’t expect problems last year when they began caring for two young grandsons and their twin newborn sisters.
But soon after Child Protective Services placed the boys, ages 3 and 4, in their home, the oldest began showing signs of trauma, the result of being pulled from his home and from whatever else he may have experienced while living with his mother.
About 80 percent of Arizona’s nearly 12,300 foster children live with families, either relatives or licensed foster homes, which research shows is best for kids who’ve been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
The Weekses provide what’s commonly called kinship care, and they get paid next to nothing for it. In Arizona and across the country, more than 6 million children in the U.S. are being raised by relatives, mostly grandparents…Read Full Article Here
April 26, 2012: Children’s Services OKs Privatization of Foster Care to Focus More Resources on Kinship Caregivers
COLUMBUS, OH — …Executive Director Chip Spinning said the change allows the agency to shift more staff members and resources to work with birth parents and with other relatives who are known as kinship caregivers.
Growing numbers of children are being placed with extended family members rather than in foster homes, and the agency needs to do more to help with stability and safety, Spinning said. Of the 21 staff members who now work with foster parents, none focuses exclusively on linking family caregivers to resources.
“We have 500 kids sitting in kinship-care situations,” he said. “If we don’t put a support system in place, they’ll come into our system.” …Read Full Article Here
April 26, 2012: Labour Party Calls on the First Minister to Pay Kinship Carers Equal to Foster Carers
SCOTLAND — …”It is deeply unfair to expect a grandparent or other relative to bear all the expense of bringing up that child just because they are related.”…Read Full Article Here
April 20, 2012: Arbroath Woman Sets Up Caring Support
ARBROATH, UK — AN ARBROATH woman is behind the creation of a support group for families that raise the children of relatives as one of their own.
Jackie Lonie has set up Angus Kin (Akin) a support group that aims to provide advice, friendship and practical help for the potentially hundreds of Angus families that keep young relatives out of the foster system by taking them in…Read Full Article Here
April 19, 2012: Need Assistance? Check in Gramma’s Cupboard
CATTARAUGUS, NY — Many grandparents and other family members find themselves raising grandchildren or children related to them…Read Full Article Here
April 12, 2012: More than 2.5 Million Grandparents Take on the Role of Parent
USA TODAY —…Grandparents who assume the responsibility of raising their grandchildren have a unique opportunity to play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives. “We’re talking about shaping another human being’s life and giving these kids a chance at having a more promising future,”…Read Full Article Here
April 12, 2012: Kinship Caregivers Get Shut Out: Children’s Board of Hillsborough County cuts Kinship Caregiver Programs
TAMPA, FL — …Kinship caregivers are raising more and more children who would have been placed in the much more expensive foster care system. Now those children may once again fall through the cracks...Read Full Article Here
April 11, 2012: Wildrose Caucus Candidate Jason Hale (Canada) Includes Help for Kinship Caregiver as Part of Campaign Pledges
STATHMORE, ALBERTA — I along with Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Caucus will initiate the following policy improvements related to Senior’s Care and Health Care for the Strathmore-Brooks Constituency:
Senior’s Care – I/we will: Introduce a “Kinship” care program where family members who would otherwise be employed are compensated to provide extended care for their loved ones… Read Full Article Here
March 20, 2012: [NY] Catholic Charities’ Kinship Program Helping Relatives Raise Relatives
FULTON, NY – Caregivers who find themselves raising their relatives’ children are able to access a program that can prove to be a valuable resource. Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Kinship Program is designed specifically to provide support to caregivers, who, through a variety of circumstances, have taken on the responsibility of raising their relative’s children…Read Full Article Here
March 14, 2012: [California] Kinship caregivers struggle without state support
When Hazel Wingate’s 61-year-old brother told her he was going to have a child, she was 62. Wingate assumed that the child would be cared for by his mother, as were her brother’s five other children.
But this mother had a drug problem…Read Full Article Here
March 1, 2012: VA’s Kinship Care Bill Could Open The Door To ‘School Shopping’
…Senate Bill 217, sponsored by state Sen. George Barker, D-Alexandria, would require school districts to allow kinship caregivers — grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles — to enroll children who live with them in the public schools within the districts of the respective caregivers.
Educators, such as those in Williamsburg and Fairfax County, worry the state will force them to open their doors to students looking for top-notch academics and diverse extracurricular activities, even though the student may, at least technically, reside in another school district…Read Full Article Here