Category: ‘Support Groups’

Las Vegas Kinship Caregiver Support Groups

July 8, 2012 Posted by Ali

Our next support group meeting is this Saturday- July 14th from 2:00-3:00 at 5030 South Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119. We meet in the conference room of Building A.  Parking is free anywhere in the Airport Center Parking lot.

Come and meet with other individuals who are taking care of their relative’s children in the Las Vegas area. We will discuss the joys and challenges of raising your grandchild, niece or nephew, or other relative. We will also share best practices and resources for kinship caregivers.

Foster Kinship will provide free printed resource guides for relative caregivers in Clark County.

Drinks and snacks will be provided. Meetings are held in the conference room of Building A- next to the Foster Kinship office.

Meetings are free and open to anyone in Clark County, NV who is caring for a relative, formally or informally. No restriction on caregiver age or the custody status of the child.

http://www.meetup.com/Kinship-Caregivers-Support-Group/events/70432152/

We hope to see you there! Have a great week! -Ali

Guardianship Resources in Nevada

June 12, 2012 Posted by Ali

If you are caring for your relative and foresee it will be longer than a few weeks, you may want to establish legal standing so that you are able to protect the child, provide some stability and be able to make medical and educational decisions for the child. One way relatives can pursue legal standing is through guardianship, depending on the specific circumstances of your situation*.

In Clark County, guardianship cases are handled by Family Court- a division of the Eighth Judicial District. The laws governing guardianship are covered in Chapter 159 of the Nevada Revised Statues.

What is guardianship? A guardian is one person agreeing to be responsible for another person, another person and their estate, or another person’s estate. A guardianship of the person allows the legal guardian the ability to make legal decisions regarding schooling, medical care, religion and other aspects of day-to-day life.

Outside of adoption, guardianship is the safest, most stable arrangement for a relative raising a child. It provides legal and physical custody. It is the legal transfer of custody to someone other than a parent.

Guardianship does not terminate parental rights, but it does suspend them. The advantage to guardianship is control. It grants the guardian the legal authority to enroll the child in school, consent to medical treatment, living situations (within the state), and make many other decisions.

Guardianship has some downsides as well. The cost to petition the court for guardianship, especially if you are using a lawyer, and/or your petition is contested, can be expensive. In addition there are emotional risks. You must prove that it is in the child’s best interest to be with you, which means you are building a case against the parent.

In Nevada there are two guardianship options to consider:

  • Six Month Temporary Guardianship: NV law allows for an informal type of guardianship that does not require court approval. The parents of the minor child can fill out this form which appoints a temporary guardian. Temporary guardianships can be used for school and medical purposes. They can be renewed after the six months, and are renewal and terminable at will of the parent. Click here to download a Short-Term Guardianship form and instructions from the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. This type of guardianship works if you have a good relationship with the child’s parents, if the child’s parents consent, and if it is a short term situation.
  • Court Ordered Guardianship: A legal guardianship requires a court order and it is a more complex legal process best done with the support of a lawyer. If you don’t follow the correct process of filing and notifying the right individuals your petition will not be granted.  However, it is possible to do it yourself, provided you have the right information. The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has free classes and resources.  Once appointed, a guardian must do what is necessary to provide the ward (child in care) with proper care, maintenance, education and support. This includes food, clothing, shelter, necessities, seeking child support from the parents, authorizing medical care, and ensuring proper education and training. The guardians must file an annual report with the court. Guardianship is terminated upon the death of the ward, 18th birthday or high school graduation, if the court feels the guardian is no longer necessary, if the ward moves to a different state, or if a parent petitions the court for termination of guardianship and the court decides to terminate.

GUARDIANSHIP RESOURCES

Clark County:

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

*Guardianship options may not apply if you are caring for the child after Child Protective Services became involved. If you are working with the Clark County Department of Family Services, you are considered a foster parent, and will not be able to pursue guardianship on your own timeline (although it may be something pursued by DFS). Please review information for relative foster parenting. For information on licensing and kinship foster parenting, you should contact the DFS social worker assigned to your case.

For guardianship questions, please contact the appropriate resources above, or email or call Foster Kinship at (702) KIN-9988 for assistance and additional resources.

Foster Kinship offers free support groups for people who are raising their relative’s children. We understand the multifaceted legal, emotional, and financial difficulties that come with the role. Please join us July 14th from 2:00-3:00 in Conference Room A at 5030 South Paradise Road, Las Vegas 89119.

New Report Highlights Strengths, Needs of Kinship Caregivers

May 29, 2012 Posted by Ali

The Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT policy report “Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families” was released last week, and shines a bright light on the strengths of kinship caregivers as well as the needs of kinship families.

Kinship care refers to private care without child protective services involvement as well as public kinship care in which families care for children who are involved with the child welfare system. There also is kinship foster care, which describes the subset of children who are placed with relatives but remain in the legal custody of the state.

According to the report, 1 in 11 US children lives in kinship care at some point before the age of 18. Nationally, these 2.7 million children are being raised by grandparents, aunts, and other relatives who step in when parents are unable to raise their children.

The report estimates that in Nevada, 19,000 children are in kinship care with no parents present. Foster Kinship, a Clark County nonprofit supporting individuals caring for their relative’s children, estimates the number of relatives supporting children as much higher when you add in the individuals who are heads of the household and responsible for children other than their own. The 2010 US Census for Clark County, NV shows 19,000 grandparents who are in some way caring for their grandchildren, and the number of children in Clark County, NV living in grandparent-headed homes today (35,451) is up by 5,000 from 2008 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010; Las Vegas Junior League, 2008).

“A growing body of research confirms that, in most circumstances, kinship care is the best option when children cannot live with their own parents,” the report states.  Placement frequency, attachment disorders, caregiver perception of the child and community connection are all more favorable in kinship care than unfamiliar foster care.

However, kinship caregivers are often unprepared for the challenges of “second time parenting” and the multiple systems they will encounter as they raise the child. The caregiver often lacks the necessary legal authority to enroll a child for school or give medical consent.

Caregivers may also be unfamiliar with available government support programs or struggle to access them, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the federal financial aid program for low-income families. Less than 12% of kinship families receive TANF payments, although nearly 100% of the children in these families are eligible.

“Kinship caregivers, whether they obtain assistance from foster care or TANF, receive much less financial support that what the USDA estimates it costs to raise a child,” the report explains.  As an example, a kinship caregiver raising two children outside of the foster care system, TANF benefits would only provide $344 per month, just 17% of the estimated $1,980 needed monthly.

Most families who receive TANF payments still need support, as the caregivers are likely to be poor, single, older, less-educated and unemployed, which makes taking on child care and health insurance costs an extra burden.

The report states private health insurance usually covers only biological and adoptive children, not children in kinship care, and caregivers are often unaware of children’s eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“An advocate for the kinship caregiver is extremely important,” says Ali O’Donnell, founder and executive director of Foster Kinship, “that is why we focus our resources and support exclusively on kinship caregivers. Informing and supporting kinship caregivers strengthens the families and increases the children’s chances for long-term success.”

“Kinship care helps protect children and maintains strong family, community and cultural connections. When children cannot remain safely with their parents, other family and friends can provide a sense of security, positive identity and belonging,” the report summarizes. Foster Kinship’s services aim to “stand in the gap” for caregivers and provide the support and resources to care for their relatives, and help keep home in the family for vulnerable children. Where services are not already available in the community or fall short of the needs of the family, Foster Kinship will work to provide assistance to this population through kinship caregiver support groups, resource direction, family days and financial support.

For more information on kinship caregiver assistance in Clark County, NV, or to find out how you can help, please visit www.fosterkinship.org or call (702) KIN-9988.

Foster Kinship Wins $500 Grant from GOOD for Kinship Caregiver Outreach

March 3, 2012 Posted by Ali

I (Ali) and the board of directors of Foster Kinship are very excited to announce that we have won $500 from GOOD to be used towards kinship caregiver outreach and support groups in Las Vegas. We will be receiving the grant money in the coming weeks and are so excited to get our project started.

For the full idea, click over here: http://goodcitizenship.maker.good.is/projects/FosterKinship

The Idea

Find the kinship caregivers in Vegas! Our goal is to locate as many individuals who are taking care of their relative’s children as possible, in order to let them know that there are new services and resources available to them that will help better care for the children and themselves.

The Specifics

We estimate there are 19K kinship caregivers around Las Vegas, and most of these individuals don’t know that there is peer support and resource direction available! Foster Kinship wants to build awareness and help these caregivers help the kids! $500 would go a LONG WAY to help keep home in the family, and the benefit would be more stability in the home for at-risk children! With the $500 Foster Kinship will:

1. Create printed materials to distribute all over Las Vegas.

2. Support a month of advertising and press releases.

3. Pay for the postage for direct mail outreach.

4. Fund the first few caregiver support groups of 2012- including water, snacks, printed resources and childcare for the kids.

Our goal is to ensure that kinship caregivers in Las Vegas know that there is support available, and to make sure this support is free for those who need and seek it!

Thanks to everyone who voted for us and helped us spread the word.

Relative Caregiver Support Groups Announced!

February 15, 2012 Posted by Ali

Foster Kinship is pleased to announce kinship caregiver support groups for the Las Vegas area. If you are taking care of your relative’s child or children, we want to hear from you! Come and meet with other kinship carers to discuss needs, find out about local services, and just be heard by an understanding community of your peers. There is no age requirement or custody requirement for caregivers. Childcare will be provided as needed and snacks and drinks will be made available.

Meetings will begin March 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM and meet monthly. The location will be determined by the members, so please RSVP by calling (702) KIN-9988 or signing up here: http://www.meetup.com/Kinship-Caregivers-Support-Group/events/52463232/ . Location information will be given after you RSVP.

Questions: Give us a call or email ali@fosterkinship.org.

We look forward to meeting you!

Ali O’Donnell- Executive Director, Foster Kinship

Foster Kinship Prepares to Launch Support Groups in 2012

November 15, 2011 Posted by fkmanager

Foster Kinship, serving Clark County individuals who are raising their relative’s children, is preparing to launch support groups for caregivers in 2012. These support groups will be held in various locations across Clark County, aimed to provide practical and emotional support and resources for caregivers.

Childcare will be available, and snacks will be provided. Meetings will be held weekday evenings and weekends, for an hour. If you are interested in attending please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you with more specific information. We look forward to meeting you soon!

 
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