Kinship care is the full-time nurturing and protection of children by relatives who have a kinship bond with children when they have been separated from their biological parents.
The Kinship Caregiver Program is offered in Cattaraugus County and provides support to relative caregivers using a family systems approach. The program encourages families to access existing community resources, as well as form new relationships with other community organizations, services and caregivers.
Services Provided - Cattaraugus County
- Support groups for kinship caregivers and children: Separate groups are offered for the children and the caregivers to provide support and engagement between group members
- Outreach: To provide respite opportunities for caregivers and their children, retreats, and other fun events to promote family connections
- Advocacy: To provide active support; and promote rights of the family, that is, caregiver and children
- Case Management: Organize services for the family
- Assessment and Referral to Family Counseling: To provide help and support to the family as a whole and each individual member
- Parenting education: To provide referrals or in home guidance related to parenting issues that may arise
- Referral and Linkage: Assistance with connecting to other resources in the family's community, including legal, financial, and human services
Children must primarily live with a relative caregiver and be TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or Supplement Security Income (SSI) eligible. Children living with a non-parent relative caregiver are eligible to receive a 'child-only' TANF grant, regardless of the caregiver's income.
The children do not have to be in court ordered legal arrangements such as permanent or temporary custody, guardianship or kinship foster care. Arrangements made with the child's parents are acceptable for this program.
There is no cost for the program services and home visits can be made if caregivers are unable to come to our offices..
Challenges the Program can Address
- Advocacy and assistance with applying for financial benefits for children
- How to meet the needs of the child (emotional and behavioral concerns)
- Fulfilling your new parenting role and stepping out of the "relative" role
- Negotiating your new relationship with the child and the child's parent(s)
- Parenting strategies
- Financial demands
- Legal concerns and questions
- Finding affordable, accessible health care and health care coverage
- Housing needs
- Affordable and reliable child care
- Questions and concerns regarding child's education
For more information, please call (716) 372-0101.