by Jan Wagner
The number of children living with kin is increasing across the country and, when abuse or neglect is involved, relatives are finding themselves connected with the foster care system. In some jurisdictions, relatives are being asked to be certified or licensed. Therefore, at its June 2014 board meeting, the National Foster Parent Association voted to make Kinship Care a full committee. NFPA wants kinship families to know that the vital role relatives have in the child welfare system is valued and supported.
If you are a member of NFPA and you are passionate about kinship care, please join the new NFPA Kinship Care Committee. Whether you are a kinship caregiver, a foster parent, an agency-based child welfare worker, a member of another advocacy organization, or whatever your role is -- there is a place for you on our committee.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to join us at the beginning of this initiative and help establish objectives for the future. For example, recommending and developing a special kinship care track at the NFPA 2015 national conference in Norfolk, Virginia, would be a great start. We need your leadership and membership to be successful. So please, let us know of your interest by sending me an email ASAP with the following information:
- Your name
- Your city and state
- Your email address
- If you are a kinship caregiver, an agency staff member working with relatives, or whatever your role may be
- If you belong to a local or state foster/adoptive/kinship association (and which one)
- What you would like to see NFPA accomplish on behalf of kinship care -- policies, practices, programs, resources, etc.
We plan to convene a conference call meeting no later than the end of October so we can report to the NFPA Board of Directors at its mid-November meeting. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at wagnerjan(at)live(dot)com.
Everyone is welcomed and needed! Thanks!