Resource Parent & Informal Kinship Services

Resource Parent & Informal Kinship Services


What is a Resource Family?

Resource Families, formerly known as “foster families”, are relative caregivers and community homes who are approved to care for these children and youth. Resource families provide love, stability, nurturing, and comfort during difficult times and serve as the first step in a child and family’s journey towards healing and hope in the future. Resource families are an integral part of this process. As biological families work toward a healthier positive home environment, resource families engage with children and youth in meaningful activities that will assist with their social, educational, and physical wellbeing while accepting them as full members of their families during the children and youth’s time in care. (Homes with Heart VC)

What is Informal Kinship Care?

Informal Kinship Care, sometimes referred to as “relative care,” is the fulltime parenting of children (outside of the Child Welfare System) by grandparents, other relatives, neighbors, or friends of the family.

Many of these caregivers may be seniors in poor health, socially isolated, and/or emotionally and financially unprepared to assume the responsibilities of children who may have emotional and behavioral issues resulting from separation, grief, loss, abuse and or neglect.

Why does Kinship Care Exist?

When a child’s birth parent (s) is: in treatment for addiction challenges, unable to meet parental responsibilities, incarcerated, critically ill, or passes away.

Types of Arrangements
  • Formal Arrangements: with public agency (e.g. Children Family Services) jurisdiction and oversight
  • Informal Arrangements: by family members (includes: adoption and legal guardianship)
Support Services Program

Kids & Families Together provides therapeutic counseling and education support services for Resource Homes, Informal Kinship, Legal Guardian, and Adoptive Caregivers in Ventura County. Through contracts with Ventura County Human Services Agency (HSA) our Support Services Program provides education-support services to Resource Families with court dependent children placed in their homes by the juvenile court, also Informal Kinship Caregivers with informal arrangements. Our contract with HSA is aimed at helping caregivers do the best job they can in raising these children through education-support services, this includes, K&FT to collaborate with partner agencies for resources and referrals.

Services include our Peer Partner Educator Training & Coaching Program (PPE.) PPEs, are para professionals providing education/coaching to resource families and informal kinship caregivers, to help them understand the Child Welfare System, Trauma Informed Care, and how to navigate and utilize community resources for personal and household needs.

For more information on our support services program or copies of our brochures, please contact us at 805.643.1446 Ext. 107 or Ext. 112.

Peer Partner Educator Training & Coaching (PPE)

Goal: To provide education and support services to new or existing Resource Parents and Informal Kinship Caregivers, this includes- understanding the child welfare system and community resources.

Eligibility: Resources Parents caring for children in the Child Welfare System. Including, Informal Kinship Caregivers outside of the Child Welfare System.

Services:

Caregivers are assigned a PPE to educate/ coach caregivers on understanding the child welfare system and accessing community resources.

Contact the Support Programs Manger at 805.643.1446, Ext. 112 or email us at: ssp@kidsandfamilies.org

Caregivers Resource Guide

Our Caregivers Resource Guide was created in hopes to provide a road map for many caregivers that are not eligible for our Peer Partner and Educator program e.g. adoptive and out of County/State caregivers. Please refer to our caregiver resource guide and if you have any questions you may call (805) 643-1446 ext. 139.

Community Training Opportunities

The Care Provider Training Program provides specialized training to care providers of children and youth involved in the child welfare system. Care Provider populations eligible to receive the training include Children and Family Service (CFS) employees, current or prospective resource parents, adoptive parents, guardians, and employees providing child-placing and childcare agencies. Our trainers represent the diversity of our local community and are leading experts in a multitude of child and family wellness topics. Training topics are based on current training needs assessment results and are customized monthly to meet the community’s needs. For more information, please contact Dr. Kathleen Van Antwerp, Caregiver Provider Training Program Director of Training, (818) 9847868, Kvanantwerp@kidsandfamilies.org.

For a complete list of programs, click here