Training Series: Coping With the Unique Challenges of Kinship Care

Posted October 16, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Therapist and trainer Joseph Crumbley

More than 139,000 chil­dren in fos­ter care are liv­ing in kin­ship place­ments with thou­sands more are in infor­mal kin­ship care arrange­ments. As child wel­fare sys­tems increas­ing­ly pri­or­i­tize plac­ing chil­dren with rel­a­tives, the Casey Foun­da­tion has cre­at­ed a video train­ing series — Cop­ing With the Unique Chal­lenges of Kin­ship Care — as a resource for kin care­givers and the child wel­fare work­ers who sup­port­ing them. Ther­a­pist and train­er Joseph Crum­b­ley hosts the sessions.

Through the series and its dis­cus­sion guide, view­ers will learn:

  • how kin­ship care changes and affects fam­i­ly dynamics;
  • how these changes can result in chal­lenges that may affect a caregiver’s abil­i­ty to pro­vide safe­ty and per­ma­nence for the youth in their care; and
  • approach­es and strate­gies to cope with these challenges.

Down­load the dis­cus­sion guide

Mod­ule 1: Loss and Ambivalence

This mod­ule explores how kin­ship care can inter­rupt rel­a­tive care­givers’ plans, pri­or­i­ties, space and privacy—and how this can con­tribute to their feel­ings of loss and ambivalence.

Mod­ule 2: Guilt

This mod­ule focus­es on how rel­a­tive care­givers can man­age their under­stand­able feel­ings of guilt because of chang­ing fam­i­ly dynamics.

Mod­ule 3: Hope and Denial

This mod­ule asks, when can hope can become a prob­lem? The answer: When rel­a­tive care­givers can­not imple­ment safe­ty plans or devel­op per­ma­nen­cy plans for the sake of chil­dren in their care.

Mod­ule 4: Ques­tions From Caregivers

This mod­ule allows you to lis­ten to ques­tions from care­givers on mul­ti­ple topics—and hear Crumbley’s thought­ful, action­able responses.

Today, more than 2.7 mil­lion chil­dren live with grand­par­ents or oth­er rel­a­tives,” says Tracey Feild, direc­tor of Casey’s Child Wel­fare Strat­e­gy Group. There­fore, it’s impor­tant to find strate­gies that ease the con­flict­ing emo­tions that sur­face when kin step up to care for rel­a­tives when par­ents can’t.”

Cop­ing With the Unique Chal­lenges of Kin­ship Care is a com­pan­ion train­ing resource to Engag­ing Kin­ship Care­givers: Man­ag­ing Risk Fac­tors in Kin­ship Care, a five-part series to strength­en child wel­fare pro­fes­sion­als’ abil­i­ty to sup­port kin families.

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