September 2021 is National Kinship Care Month! This month recognizes the importance of grandparents, extended family members or close family friends who step up to raise children so they avoid the trauma of separation from their birth family.
In the United States alone, there are nearly 3 million grandparents and almost 1.5 million relatives providing kinship care for children. In California there are more than 600,000 grandparents raising their grandchildren, this is one of the highest figures in the entire country. Numbers like that are staggering, but this is why we exist. We're here to help grandparents and relatives navigate the system, prepare for raising their kin and offer support through our Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP).
What Is Kinship Care?
Kinship care refers to relatives, or in some cases close family friends, caring for children in foster care. Relatives are the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it helps maintain the children's connections with their families, increases stability, and overall minimizes the trauma of family separation.
How Does The Kinship Support Services Program Work?
Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP) is a free program designed to provide resources and support to help improve outcomes for families formed through kinship care. KSSP is funded by some California counties and offered in collaboration with community-based service providers. Check our locations page to find out if KSSP is offered in the county where you reside.
KSSP is designed to provide support to kinship families – particularly those formed voluntarily, without the assistance of a child welfare agency. Families are rarely prepared for kinship care and KSSP can offer comprehensive support.
KSSP provides support to relatives facing the challenge of raising kin, and also helps connect families in similar situations.
For a more detailed description on Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System please read this full Fact Sheet published on ChildWelfare.gov by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Kinship Care is critical and it is our highest priority to keep family bonds intact. Make it yours too with a donation to help fund our Kinship Support Program.