Kinship Mentoring

According to "Kinship Care: A Natural Bridge" (published by CWLA, 1994) ""care of children by kin is strongly tied to family preservation. . the involvement of kin may stabilize family situations, ensure the protection of children, and prevent the need for placement into the more formal child welfare systems.""

The Twelve Inc. Kinship Mentoring Program is designed to respond to needs of relatives who are providing care for their kin that is grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The program is designed to provide a two-prong approach: that is, to respond to the caregiver and to respond to the youth being cared for by the caregiver. The primary outcome of this service is the reduction in the number of requests for removal of children from kinship homes.

Service Highlights
* Relieve stress for the Caregiver
* Assist the caregiver in obtaining needed services
* Help the caregiver parent at-risk children
* Provide guidance and discipline
* Assist caregiver with child focused activities
* Enhance functioning level of the youth
* Provide recreational and leisure activities for the youth
* Improve child's functioning in the home, school and community
* Improve social functioning of the youth
* Teach child coping and mediation skills

Kinship Mentors are mature, stable, caring adults, hired as part-time staff from the local community, and trained and supervised by licensed social workers. The Kinship Mentor helps the youth participate in educational, vocational, and employment programs, as well as recreational or structured leisure time activities. Kinship Mentors will support relatives by providing recreational and leisure opportunities for children in placement in the relative home. They will provide homework assistance for these children and, when appropriate, will help adolescents with seeking and maintaining employment. This in turn will provide the relatives with some time and space within the course of each week for themselves and the other children in their home. It is a goal that as a result of this one-on-one (or small group as in the case of a sib group) these children will experience increased self esteem, and will respond more appropriately in the family, school and community. Through this program the relatives will experience a sense of support and will continue to provide a family setting even when experiencing difficulties with these children.

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