A newsletter of the 
Kinship Care Education Center (KCEC) 
September 13, 2012


School is back in session! As we approach the busyness and excitement of the beginning of the new school year, there are many challenges caregivers and their providers face. Choosing schools, enrollment procedures, transportation needs, and after-school activities are just some of the things caregivers and their providers will encounter. We at the Kinship Care Education Center are working to continue providing resources and information that can be passed on to you or your families. Continue to visit our website and look for us to be making some new and exciting changes in the next few months.



September is not only time for back-to-school activities and preparations, but also a time for us to celebrate our grandparents and grandparent caregivers! The first ever Grandparents Day was celebrated in 1973 and legislation was passed in 1978 to declare the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This year, instead of limiting celebrations to a single day (September 9th), we celebrated for an entire week (the 8th-15th). How did you find a way during Grandparents Week this year to celebrate the Grandparent caregivers in your community or organization? If you haven't yet, it is never too late to celebrate these caring, dedicated, and hardworking individuals!   











"On National Grandparents Day, we honor those who have helped shape the character of our Nation, and we thank these role models for their immeasurable acts of love, care, and understanding."

         President Barack Obama,                          2010 Grandparents Day Proclamation  








To learn more about national Grandparents Day, visit Generations United by following this link: http://grandparentsday.org/.






 - KCEC Staff





 If you have any thoughts or ideas for future newsletters please let us know by e-mailing us at kinship@msu.edu.














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Information Resources -

Trauma Informed Practice

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has provided a Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) that has addressed the ever-growing need to implement trauma-informed practices into the child-welfare policies, practices, trainings, etc.  The NCTSN explains that even though there is a growing number of children in the foster care system that have experienced traumatic events, there are very few agencies that integrate trauma-informed strategies into their practices. Even though this series explains the necessity of a trauma-informed practice in agencies that work with children in the foster care system, the need for trauma-informed practice extends to all agencies working with children, including agencies working with relative caregivers and kinship families. It is important for Relative caregivers as well as the professionals working with kinship families to be aware of trauma-informed practice because a large portion of the children living with relative caregivers and in kinship families have faced the same struggles and trauma in their lives and would benefit greatly from the use of trauma-informed practice. In September 2010, the NCTSN, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), introduced the TICWP BSC, which focuses on developing and integrating trauma-informed strategies into the child welfare practices. To learn more about this new practice strategy, follow this link: http://search.proquest.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/docview/1016363384



Scanning the Horizons: Top Five Trends


During difficult economic times, it is critical for any non-profit organization to be aware of the recent trends in the field in order to maximize its efficiency and develop a plan for success. The Alliance for Children and Families has recently published a report that provides this information. The report, titled Scanning the Horizons: Top Five Trends, highlights the top five trends in the human service field and explains how these trends affect the field. To read about these trends and for more information, visit The Alliance for Children and Families website at: http://alliance1.org/severson/trend-report .

Training Resources -

Empowering Grandparents!


"Empowering Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, A Training Manual for Group Leaders" is a manual that presents a 14-session workshop for group leaders to use, ranging in topics from how to communicate effectively with their grandchildren on all topics ranging from drugs and sex, to sexually transmitted diseases; helping them learn how to deal with loss and abandonment issues; helping them develop and maintain self-esteem; dealing with special behavior problems; and appropriate ways of instilling and maintaining rules in the home. The cost for this training manual is $55. To get more information or to purchase this manual, visit this site: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826113160.


GRG Simulation Toolkit


The Coconino Extension and Kinship Kare of Northern Arizona (KKONA) RAPP have created a new simulation workshop that allows professionals to drop their current roles and pick up the role of grandparent caregivers. In the simulation, these professionals will have to take on the roles and tasks that grandparent caregivers face in their daily lives while caring for a relative child. Professionals who have participated in this simulation have realized "How hard it is to be able to access services for grandparents. It was so challenging to get resources. That was an eye opener". The work shop entails four sections: the organizer's materials, materials for conducting a pre-training for collaborating agencies and facilitators who assist with conducting the workshop, materials and all participants handouts for distribution on the day of the workshop, and a bibliography and evaluation templates, both the workshop and follow-up evaluations. The cost for this simulation workshop is $25.00 each. To order this simulation toolkit call toll-free, the University of Arizona at 1-877-763-5315. For more information on the simulation workshop, contact one of the authors at (928) 774-1868 ext 120 (Beth Tucker).



Kinship Care Practice Project


The Kinship Care Practice Project has created a set of curriculum materials intended to inform agency workers about the topic of kinship care. The curriculum is comprised of six units: The Context of Practice in Kinship Foster Care: Formal and Informal System Constraints and Opportunities, The Sociocultural Contexts of Kinship Care, Substance Abuse and Its Impact on Family Systems, Convening the Kinship Network, Decision-Making & Family Empowerment, and Supporting Permanent Plans. Along with the six units, there are four training videos to accompany the information found in the units. To get more information on the curriculum materials, view and print the materials, or view the videos, visit this site: http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/college/kincare/curriculum_videos/curriculum_videos.html . 

If you have a training you would like to have added to our newsletter please send us an   e-mail at kinship@msu.edu.



Sometimes its grandmas and grandpas 

Stepping Up For Kids


The Annie E. Casey Foundation has recently released a publication advocating for kinship families. Titled, ""Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families", the publication presents data, figures, and charts on kinship families around the nation, as well as suggestions on how the government can offer support to these families. To find out more about this publication, visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation website at: http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid=%7b642BF3F2-9A85-4C6B-83C8-A30F5D928E4D%7d


Pass on to Families -

Michigan's Title IV-E Application


Michigan is one of eight states that have posted their application proposals for the Title IV-E Waivers. The waivers will allow DHS better serve children who are in Kinship Foster Care in regards to the services they offer. The application proposal that has been released explains, "The waiver will help DHS expand services needed to enhance safety and explicitly improve well-being outcomes for children and families in their own communities. It will better align services and resources to produce positive outcomes for all children, regardless of title IV-E eligibility, in a timely and least intrusive manner". The proposals that are available for public comments must be finalized by September 30th. Comments can be made by anyone-both families and agencies. To find out more about Michigan's proposal, or to learn more about how to comment, read more here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/programs_fund/mi_waiver_proposal.pdf

And the Research Says -  


A large amount of the research and studies that have been completed recently in the child welfare sector have been related to children in foster care, and more specifically, children in non-relative foster care. As the number of kinship families is on the rise, we would like to focus on this population and their unique needs, characteristics, and interactions.


Chipman, Wells, and Johnson published a study in 2002 that identified the unique population of kinship caregivers, as well as the children and the workers involved, and decided to study their interactions. Their study looked at the relationship between the individuals, the unique characteristics that each portrayed, and their attitudes on kinship care in order to assess the quality of care the children being raised in kinship families received. The study prepared twenty-four interviews that were conducted.


The study noted the following:


  • kin caregivers are more likely to be older
  • African American
  • single, and head of household
  • with less education and lower incomes


Next, the study looked at the common themes between the children that are being raised in kinship families and found:


  • children in kinship foster care tend to be younger
  • African American
  • with slightly fewer behavioral and educational problems
  • somewhat better mental health outcomes
  • and fewer developmental issues when compared with children in nonkinship settings

Finally, the study looked at the caseworkers who are working with kinship families. The study found that "when compared to nonkinship placements, at least four groups of researchers have found that social service agencies provide less finding and fewer services to kinship placements, such as agency supervision, respite care, day care, support groups, and training.



The main point to be taken from this study is that kinship families tend to have more stressors and obstacles to face than non-kinship families. Even though the kinship families typically have more obstacles, they also tend to receive fewer services from caseworkers and agencies. More attention needs to be provided to the kinship families.


As professionals who offer services to relative caregivers and kinship families, the demographics and characteristics found in this study are extremely important to be aware of and can help enhance the services and outreach tactics that we provide to the clients. For example; as noted by the study, the typical caregiver tends to be a single, African American woman with less education and lower incomes. Knowing this information can be helpful to keep in mind when creating support groups, hosting training events, and advocating within the community. Another way this study can help enhance the way agencies provide services is by knowing that most caregivers tend to be single women and most children being raised in kinship families tend to be younger, the agency can work to provide childcare when having activities like support groups or trainings.


If you would like to read the article itself you should be able to locate it within a University library, or with the assistance of your local librarian with the following reference:

Chipman, Robert, Susan W. Wells, and Michelle A. Johnson. "The Meaning of Quality in Kinship Foster Care: Caregiver, Child, and Worker Perspectives." Families in Society 83.5 (2002): 508-20. ProQuest Psychology Journals; ProQuest Research Library; ProQuest Sociology. Web. 6 Sep. 2012.
















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