Kinship Care Notes #22

Dear friends of kinship care – Welcome to a new era (we hope) that may recognize kinship care as a critical piece of raising healthy children in body and spirit. Thanks to all who took advantage of the last special bulk orders for A Kinship Guide to Rescuing Children for Grandparents and Other Relatives As Parents. We look forward to an adventurous 2009. Plenty of news ahead:

Children’s Health Care  

▪    Health care is a huge issue with kinship families, (check www.kincare.blogspot.com ).

▪    SCHIP has been extended by Congressional vote! SCHIP is the States Child Health Insurance Program designed to cover children without health insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid. States have many different names for the program (Michigan is MIChild), and a few states do not participate in the funding. Check with your local department of social services.

▪    The NFL playoffs showed a number of ads for the NFL supported project, Children’s Health Fund, www.childrenshealthfund.org . This is a program founded in part by our own national treasure, songster Paul Simon, that has health clinics in 11 states. CHF also joins with national organizations to lobby Congress for children’s health care, and offers a number of child health publications. Check the website for more information and specific programs in some states.

Grandparent Survey

Grandparents.com, the new work home for Amy Goyer, formerly with AARP’s Grandparent Information Center, recently conducted a survey of their subscribers based on the news that Marian Robinson, grandmother to the new First Family, will be an available caregiver to her grandchildren. The survey asks if this will increase interest in grandparent care of children, whether more families will be involved in grandparent care, and other related issues. The answers are overwhelmingly YES. For numbers and more issues go to www.grandparents.com , a very interesting website for all grandparents.

The Generations United website also carries an Intergenerational households fact sheet which could be valuable in preparation to your funding sources, www.gu.org . See also the blog on steps to prepare for funding, www.kincare.blogspot.com .

Kids Central and Second Time Around

Kids Central Inc of Ocala Florida recently wrote to tell me that their kinship care program has tripled in just a few months! I’m not surprised. This wonderful organization serves caregivers and children in many ways from group meetings to important one-on-one support through the maze of kinship issues. www.KidsCentralinc.org

The curriculum core of Kids Central Inc program is Second Time Around, a series of topics presented in kinship care group meetings. Second Time Around is the product of an extensive development project between Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Michigan Family Independence Agency (DHHS) and funded in part by the Kellogg Foundation. The program is a good anchor to secure any kinship organization like the Kids Central Inc program. For more information about Second Time Around contact one of the designers, Linda Dannison, linda.dannison@wmich.edu  .

Generations United www.gu.org is pleased to announce two new resources on the new Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The resources include New Help for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: Questions and Answers About the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 and Top 10 List for Relative Caregivers to Implement Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The resources were produced in partnership with the Children`s Defense Fund (CDF) www.childrensdefense.org , the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and many others.

Child Welfare League of America  www.cwla.org don’t forget the weekly blog radio with topics pertinent to child welfare which often includes kinship care issues. To listen to On the Line with CWLA, go to www.blogtalkradio.com/CWLA-Radio . The call-in number is 347/326-9411. For more information on the show, visit www.cwla.org/newsevents/cwlaradio.htm . Also available from CWLA is the new Guidelines for Mental Health in Child Welfare. Check the website for more information.

We are still wrestling with technical issues, but keeping in touch with all of you is more important to me. So for now you are receiving the monthly Kinship Care Notes in the old format. Note: if you wish to have your name removed from the mailing list please drop us a quick “please unsubscribe” note at hellis7@msn.com (though we hope you will stay tuned and even offer feedback).

Keep up the good work for kinship families,

Helene

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