Are you the primary caregiver of another family member’s child? The Kinship Caregiver Program at Catholic Charities is a resource for families in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties who may need support in stepping out of the relative role and into that of parent.
Kinship care refers to caregiver grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adult siblings, and even family friends who provide full-time nurturing and protection of children when they have been separated from their biological partners. More than 200,000 children in New York State are living full time with kin.
"Catholic Charities has offered the Kinship Caregiver Program for more than a decade in Cattaraugus County, and we are marking a successful first year expanding the program to families in Allegany County," said Danielle Kielar, Catholic Charities Kinship Caregiver Program social worker. "Kinship care can be difficult, but it can also be a truly rewarding experience, which is why we are here to help navigate the challenges and encourage camaraderie with other kinship families."
The Kinship Caregiver Program at Catholic Charities can help families locate resources in their community and offer personal assistance including case management, family counseling and parenting education. Catholic Charities also offers support groups for kinship families, YMCA family memberships for those who participate in the group activities regularly, and youth groups/family fun nights.
Last year, Catholic Charities announced the expansion of its Kinship Caregiver Program to Allegany County and to enhance the Cattaraugus County program through a three-year New York State Office of Child and Family Services grant. The program exceeded its original goals and is currently working with more than 25 families in Allegany County and 25 in Cattaraugus County.
For more information about the Kinship Caregiver Program in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties and eligibility requirements, call 716-372-0101, or visit website ccwny.org/kinship.