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Help is Out There for Kinship Caregivers in Ohio

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Thursday, March 11, 2010   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kinship caregiver families in Ohio are getting a new tool to help them care for a young family member, friend or neighbor. The KinshipOhio Web site, launched this week, provides a wealth of information for and about families caring for children who would otherwise be placed in foster care. The new Web tool includes pages on statewide support programs, county profiles, advocacy, news, and school enrollment.

Kathryn Whittington, community service coordinator for the Ashtabula County Children Services, says the site helps these caregivers understand they are not alone and help is available.

"They don't automatically get assistance. A kinship navigator Web page is really to help them navigate through any resources and services they may need for the child."

In many instances, foster care is a valuable resource for children who cannot safely remain in their home, but Whittington says research shows children raised with other family members have better outcomes than children in unrelated foster care.

"The families that step forward to provide kinship care know the children. They know how they are, they know the situation and it shows. The kids really do well in a kinship care placement. They're with family."

Kinship care reduces the trauma of foster care, she adds, as well as the governmental costs associated with paid placement.

In 2000, the U.S. Census counted over 86,000 grandparents in Ohio as primary caregivers for their grandchildren and that number is expected to be much higher once the 2010 Census is complete. The Web site is www.kinshipohio.org.




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