A Closer Look At Kinship
Providing Stability In A Familiar Family Setting
When children must leave their parents due to unsafe living conditions, relatives or family friends often step in to offer care in a secure, loving environment.
Close To Home
Kinship care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends. Relatives are the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it maintains the children’s connections with their families. Kinship care is often considered a type of family preservation service.
Nearly 202,000 children live in households whose grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other relatives or non-relatives care for children whose own parents are having a difficult time. Sometimes, the arrangement is referred to as ‘kinship care’, which is an arrangement between the parents and the chosen caregivers. A kinship placement does not always have to be a relative. A person who has built a significant relationship with the child and family can be considered a kinship placement.
Kinship Family Resources in Pennsylvania
The Bair Foundation was awarded the state contract to facilitate, promote, and create a resource-filled website for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Resources to bridge the gap for Kinship families. These caregivers are often unaware that they are eligible for support and services that can ease the social, emotional and financial challenges of caregiving. KinConnector.org provides guidance, advice, and support for grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative and non-relative Kinship Caregivers.
The Benefits of Placing Children with Relatives
Welcoming a loved one’s child into your home can have many benefits for the child and the caregiver, including:
- Providing love and care in a familiar setting.
- Providing parents with a sense of hope that children will remain connected to family.
- Allowing children to live with people they know and trust.
- Maintaining family connections and cultural traditions.
The gift these caregivers provide children can be extremely rewarding, but also sometimes challenging. It is our goal to minimize stressors through support and advocacy.
The Bair Foundation KinConnector Navigators are compassionate, knowledgeable social service professionals prepared to help families locate, understand, and access resources that will be able to help them. As kinship caregivers, you are not alone. You are a member of a large and growing community in Pennsylvania.
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