Welcome to Kinship America
In early 2021 a group of organizations convened by the Ohio Federation for Health Equity and Social Justice and the Ohio Grandparent and Kinship Coalition, met virtually to discuss the needs, concerns and issues that kin caregivers face when they step forward to care for their relative children.
These organizations represented the following states in this initial meeting: The Children’s Home Network of Florida; Kinship Resource Center, School of Social Work at Michigan State University; Children’s Home Society of New Jersey; Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina; HALOS of South Carolina; Institute for Child Success of South Carolina; and Vermont Kin as Parents.
As discussions continued, it was determined that a very simple tool was needed which could identify the services each state provided to kin caregivers. There was consensus that the document had to be reader friendly while highlighting the vast differences in supporting kin across states. It was agreed that the best format for this information would be a scorecard.
Additional states joined as news of the monthly conversations were shared with those engaged in working with kin families. It was decided that the scorecard should be released at a national event. It was decided that as a recognition of Grandparent/Kinship Month, the group would work to convene a virtual National Town Hall.
Lay and strengthen the foundation for the beginnings of an enhanced network of national, regional, and state kinship advocates.
Educate policymakers, Legislators, and the general community on the challenges (financial, social and emotional) of kinship care.
Promote the creation and/or expansion of programs and policies that support kin in their efforts to keep the children out of the formal out-of-home placement system “foster care”.
Promote and foster collaborations between local, regional, state, and national groups to join in the effort to expand the use of kinship care and availability of equitable resources to kinship families.
Recognize kinship champions and recruit future potential champions.
Promote and support the new Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center at Generations United and its mission.
The power of your voice: Meet Gail
Gail Engel never imagined her life journey would touch so many lives by raising her voice and telling her story. Gail’s lived experiences of being in an abusive marriage and the death of her second husband left both Gail and her daughter with trauma and PTSD. Her daughter struggled with mental health issues for years.