September is Kinship Care month and the theme for the month is KINect Georgia: Keeping Kids Connected. Kinship Care refers to the more than 253,127 Georgians who take care of relative children full time, including grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and who have prevented these children from entering foster care.
Kinship Care providers are among Georgia's greatest assets in protecting children from abuse and neglect and keeping children connected to their families and their communities when their biological parents aren't able to take care of them full time. Nationally there are almost 3 million kinship care families. Georgia is the 6th largest state in the country with grandchildren living with grandparents.
Many of the grandparents raising their grandchildren are still in the workforce, often have disabilities, or are faced with financial struggles. Joy Hutcherson, assistant director of Kinship Care Resource Center in Jonesboro, appeared on Atlanta and Company to talk about Kinship Care and the available resources for grandparents, including financial services, child care programs, legal services and health and wellness services. These resources are a much needed help to grandparents who have taken on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
For information on resources and support services available to Georgians taking care of relative children, visit GeorgiaADRC.com or call 1-866.552.4464. The Department of Human Resources also has a network of statewide providers with information on Kinship Care resources.