Rationale for Special Programs Addressing Kinship Care Issues.
The number of children living with grandparents and other relatives continues to grow. According to the Children's Defense Fund 2.24 million children are living with relative caregivers without either parent present, with 1.5 million living with grandparents and 729,000 living with other relatives. Kinship caregivers are committed to the care of their relative but face many issues such as:
- economic difficulties
- health problems
- social isolation
- children's behavioral problems
- legal issues
- housing difficulties
- lack of respite/childcare
- lack of community resources
An Accessible Solution to These Issues
The Kinship Care Navigator's primary goal is to "navigate" kinship caregivers through various governmental and community programs and services. The Navigator provides information and referral services for the following:
- financial resources
- day/evening childcare
- respite care
- tangible resources such as appliances and beds
- health and medical resources
- legal information/referrals
- kinship caregiver support groups
- education and training
The Navigator also assists kinship caregivers in identifying their unique needs, such as offering individual support, advocacy and assistance to meet their needs.
With the assistance provided by the Navigator, it is hoped that kinship caregivers will be able to stabilize their familial unit, and adequately meet their familiy's financial, physical, social, and emotional needs.
This program is provided by Summit County Children Services. For professional personalized assistance, please call (330) 996-1798, call toll-free (866) 996-1798 or email Julie Kirven.