Summit County Children Services believes that the best place for children to thrive is in their own homes. However, when a child has been abused or neglected – and there is a need for placement outside of the home – whenever possible they are placed with relatives or individuals considered to be “kin” to the child. To honor kinship caregivers for all they do for the children of this community, the month of September is being celebrated as ‘Kinship Appreciation Month’ throughout the county.
Kinship Care is an arrangement where grandparents, other relatives, Godparents, or close family friends provide a child with a home, food, clothing . . . and unconditional love . . . to help maintain the child’s connection with family and minimize the trauma of separation. Nationally, millions of children are being raised solely by their grandparents or other relatives. In Summit County, there are approximately 200 children in the custody of Summit County Children Services placed with kinship caregivers and an additional 177 children who are in the temporary custody of kin while parents are working a plan to reunify.
"Kinship caregivers play an integral part in the care and well-being of the children of Summit County," said Trina Danzy, Director of Placement & Permanency Planning for the agency. “The need for family to love and support their kin in agency custody is tremendous. Children deserve to be with family. Placing children with kin can reduce the trauma a child experiences when being removed from the custodian. We thank our kinship cargivers for all they do for children.”
Summit County Children Services is also recognizing active kinship caregivers with 'thank you' cards and pizza gift certificates. An appreciation banner will be displayed outside the main entrance of the agency during the month of September and information on kinship will be available at the agency's main office building. 'Thank you' ads will also be featured in various media publications throughout the month. For more information on kinship care, call Summit County Children Services at (330) 996-1799 or visit summitkids.org.