Kin Support Project Offers Help, Hope to Families Raising Loved One's Children
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More and more children are being raised by a grandparent or other relative. Many are suddenly thrust into this role and have no idea where to go for help or even what type of services and financial help they may qualify to receive.
Our Kin Support Project assists families who are raising a loved one's children who have lost a parent due to death, incarceration or an inability to parent.
In collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc., Families First's Kin Support Project helps such families that often have a wide variety of issues and concerns, which include obtaining economic benefits and health insurance.
In 2017, Families First served 58 families including 141 children and 66 adults; 140 children remained with relative caregivers and out of the foster care system, a 99% success rate.
Cost Savings: Up to $105,131 for every child remaining with their family and out of the child welfare system.
- Counseling and education
- Support groups
- Financial guidance
Advocacy and Linkage to:
- Legal services
- Economic benefits
- Healthcare and health insurance
- Individual/family therapy
- Educational services through the school system
Times were already tough for Julie Hernandez. She had suddenly been thrust back into the role of parent to her two young granddaughters who initially were placed in foster care because of their mother's drug abuse. Julie was working full time when she was given custody of the girls, but then her world came crashing down – she lost her job and thus her home and car and couldn't find another job. Rather than let her become homeless, a friend let her move in temporarily in return for paying utilities, but that temporary help soon ended.
For a while, her daughter straightened out her life and mother, daughter and the two girls moved in together for more than four years. Then her daughter relapsed and Julie again had custody of her granddaughters who were both struggling with behavior and school problems, having bounced among caregivers and a variety of schools. Her older granddaughter was placed in a foster home in Orlando, ran away and was later reunited with her grandmother.
When she found Families First's Kin Support Project, Julie's life began to change for the better. Staff helped her get food assistance and Medicaid and found stable housing for the three of them. "They went above and beyond for me and the girls. They were always there when there was a crisis; they never judged me, but were there to answer any questions I had. They were very resourceful in finding anything I needed, including furniture for the girls when we got a house," said a grateful Julie.