Keeping Kids Home – Even when they Aren’t
What is Kinship Care?
When parents are temporarily unable or unwilling to care for their children, their children are moved into foster homes across the state often far away from the people and environments they are familiar with. In many instances, a member of the extended family will come forward and bring the child into their home. When an Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents or even close family friends take on this responsibility, it is called Kinship Care.
A Kinship placement provides financial assistance and other meaningful support services to care for the children, but most importantly, it keeps the family intact and significantly reduces the trauma children experience by being separated from their parents and home.
Pathways recognizes the difficulty and honors the choice to care for a family member or friend’s children. For 2 decades we have licensed, trained and supported individuals who have committed to the well-being of their relative’s children. We are familiar with the challenges and can provide support to help the arrangement work beneficially for everyone.
Different Types of Kinship Care
Adding an additional child or children to a family can be challenging and expensive. Additional clothing, food costs, utilities, medical care and therapy supports for traumatized children can place a strain on families who choose to open their hearts and homes to kin.
Informal Kinship includes an open-ended agreement with a kinship family that is non-binding, while Child Protective Services (CPS) retains legal responsibility for the children. The home is assessed for safety and stability and some support services and limited financial assistance is provided to the Kinship caregiver(s) directly from CPS.
Pathways is an expert in kinship care and can help by providing a more Formal Kinship alternative to families impacted by the challenges of accepting additional children into their homes. Through Formal Kinship, families can choose to become verified foster parents. Benefits of this program include regular financial reimbursement to help cover the costs of caring for these children, training and support services, Medicaid benefits for the children and guidance and therapy for families and children.
Formal Kinship Families can be provided:
- Case Management Services
- Specialized Training
- Individual & Group Therapy
- Family Support Groups
- Crisis Management
In Texas there are near 30,000 children who are temporarily or permanently removed from their biological homes. Of those, approximately 18,000 are living in kinship placements and a majority of those relatives are not receiving benefits because they are simply unaware of the Kinship Care options.