During September, Kinship Care Month, we are reflecting on how kinship care has become increasingly important in meeting the needs of children involved with the child welfare system.
Kinship care is a valuable option for children in foster care… but it can undoubtedly be taxing to the caregiver. When we support kinship caregivers, we help ensure the well-being and stability of the children in their care.
Unsure of how to help? Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Offer financial support or hand-me-downs to kinship caregivers to help cover the many expenses associated with taking in a child. (If they won’t accept, try an anonymous gift!)
- Give caregivers occasional breaks and opportunities for self-care.
- Connect the caregivers with emotional supports like counseling and parenting groups.
- Help children in kinship care succeed in school by tutoring, mentoring, or sharing academic resources.
- Organize carpools for recreational activities so kinship care families can more likely participate.
- Raise awareness about kinship care through your channels. Remind others of its importance to foster understanding and support.
- Establish emergency support systems to help kinship caregivers in times of crisis or unforeseen challenges.
- Recognize and appreciate the efforts of kinship caregivers.
You can also help these families, as well as traditional foster care placements, by donating your time to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA advocates speak up for the well-being of children. They specifically help identify family members and friends that a vulnerable child would feel safe living with. To learn more about this skilled volunteer role, visit HenricoCASA.org.