One of the new programs Amara is launching this fall will directly help kinship families in our King and Pierce county communities. Kin Connections will help kinship caregivers connect to the resources and supports they need to parent relative children, many of whom often arrive in their caregivers’ homes with little notice.
To help ease the transition for everyone involved, Amara’s Kinship Retention and Support Specialist will meet kinship caregivers as soon as possible after a child is placed with them to help determine family needs and goals. This program will focus on providing short-term supports to meet the family’s immediate needs, while simultaneously connecting them to other resources and programs that can support them long-term. These short-term supports will include applying for financial assistance, education around navigating the often-complex child welfare system, and/or assisting with requirements for the new child-specific state license. This license allows kinship families to receive monthly foster care payments to help offset the costs of caring for children.
“Kinship caregiving provides children with familiar social connections and environments that help children adapt faster to the changes they have experienced and to begin to heal from trauma. Yet despite kinship placements often being better for many children, existing supports for kinship caregivers are not at levels comparable to traditional foster care. This leaves many kinship caregivers with few resources and support to meet the needs of their growing families,” said Trey Rabun, Amara’s Associate Director of Programs-Kinship Services.
We are thrilled to be launching this new supportive program November 1, thanks to the investment of our generous donors. We expect Kin Connections to improve the lives of kids and families experiencing the foster care system and bring equity to an often under-served population of caregivers.