With the child welfare system’s reliance on relatives soaring, and more federal resources to assist these families, Generations United is hosting a series of regional webinars next week to help educate stakeholders on building kinship navigator programs, a model designed to connect kin with resources.
“These webinars are intended to help connect states and localities with the information they need to develop and operate effective programs,” said Jaia Lent, executive director of Generations United.
Earlier this year, the federal government provided almost $18 million to states and tribes for Kinship Navigator programs to support relative caregivers of children in the foster care system, or at-risk of entering the system. Fifty-seven grants totaling $17.9 million were awarded in late September to state, territories and Native American tribes. Only three states did not receive any funding.
Another $20 million is slated to be doled out in fiscal 2019. After that, the recently passed Family First Act will split the cost of any evidence-based navigator programs with states.
With kinship navigator programs across the country now looking at expansion and new ones cropping up because of the added funding, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Generations United is offering informational webinars next week to help governments and organizations prepare.
The webinars are part of a regional webinar series support by Casey Family Programs, a large nonprofit child welfare advocacy organization. The webinars will provide information on development of high quality, evidence-based programs, highlighting quality programs already in existence.
“Our goal is to provide tools and information to help states and localities use their new federal kinship navigator funding to develop quality, evidence-based programs that provide new or enhanced services to kinship families both inside and outside the child welfare system,” Lent said.
Following are links to register for the webinars, which focus on different regions of the country: