The number of kinship families – families who are raising their relatives’ children – are increasing rapidly here in Arizona. These families have unique challenges and need a variety of services to remain stable and ensure the safety of the children in their care. Kinship care offers children greater permanency, affection, and reliability in a more familiar setting. These children have the opportunity to remain connected with their families and communities and to retain their cultural identities.
The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust recently awarded Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) with a $250,000 grant over two years to expand our Kinship Support Services throughout Maricopa County.
Because of this grant, AzCA can provide increased outreach to kinship families and the necessary guidance that will allow them to navigate the unique challenges they may encounter while raising their relatives’ children. From resource referrals to legal support, grandparent support groups to helping caregivers qualify for state benefits, our kinship navigators help these special caregivers as they work through the complications of their changing family structure and ensure that these youth remain in the care of family members rather than entering formal foster care.
This funding will allow us to hire two full-time kinship navigators who will work with the Department of Child Safety, schools, the courts, and other community organizations to connect with kinship families. Their role will be to identify resources and provide services for grandparents and other relatives caring for relative children. These navigators understand the state systems and resources available at all levels and work one-on-one with caregivers to meet each family’s needs.
We can’t wait to see the positive impact these services will have on our community! Thank you to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for your support of Arizona’s children and families!