Quarter 2 2018| June 9 2018
Foster Kinship Summer Connection
Kinship Specific News, Resources, Training and more- direct to you from Foster Kinship.
Foster Kinship News
A Note from Ali

Did you know that kinship care in Nevada has increased 68% since 2012? Compare that to the overall population growth over the same time of 8% and it is clear more children are living with relatives than ever before. Right now, 32,000 Nevada children are living in kinship care.

Because Foster Kinship is the only nonprofit in Nevada focused on the underserved kinship population, we are also experiencing an increase in demand for our programs. We have already served 427 families this year, compared to 178 over the same time last year. I am so glad to have such a hard working team and dedicated community supporters- this ensures we never turn a family away!

I had the amazing opportunity to speak in Washington DC ( pics with board members Bob Ruble and Michele Howser to the right ) in April about how states and child welfare agencies can begin to work together to build a kinship system of care. Some of the most important work I do is raise awareness and funds for our Navigator Program so we can continue to do our work without turning any vulnerable family away. If you have any connections to a business or organization that may be interested in learning more about kinship care, please reach out to me at Ali@fosterkinship.org.

Kinship Navigator Program
Family Advocates
Nani Garrett - Manager
Leah Dods
Sandy Vargas
Anntesha Chesterton

Our wonderful Family Advocates are always available by appointment Monday through Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to help with completing guardianship, application assistance such as Child-Only TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid. And to provide you with a number of community resources. Please give us a call 702-546-9988.
Community Resource Spotlight

Sunrise Children's Foundation offers a number of programs that could greatly benefit our kinship families. If you came to our April Support group, you enjoyed a presentation from them. For those that did not attended, here's some highlights of their programs:

Early Head Start - Infants/Toddlers

This program provides early head start to infants and toddlers, age birth to three. Sunrise has development centers all around town and if eligible the children could spend their day there (very similar to daycare). The goal is to promote help and development for the children.

HIPPY - Home Instructions for the Parents (Caregivers) of Preschool Youngsters

This program serves toddlers and preschoolers (age 3 to 5). A worker will provide home visits and early intervention programs for families.

WIC - Women, Infant, and Children

Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)

Targets at risk communities through two evidence-based home visiting programs that support healthy child development and ensures the safety of young children from birth to five years old.

Foster Kinship advocates can help YOU connect with this resource by sending a referral if you're interested in additional services.
Kinship Support Group
Please do not forget we have kinship-only support group on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 PM. We provide free child care and dinner! Come hang out and meet other kinship caregivers.

REGISTER HERE or call (702) 546-9988.

If you can't make it, we also have a closed group on Facebook just for Nevada Kinship Caregivers.

Opportunity for Kids!

When: Wednesday, July 11 Noon-1:30 PM. Lunch included, caregivers do not need to stay on site. 

Where: 4344 W Cheyenne, 89032.

Restrictions: Ages 8-17 ONLY. Please complete this form for EACH CHILD you are registering. Each child/caregiver will be required to sign a waiver. You must be a Foster Kinship client to participate- the children can be both kinship and biological. 

What: This is an hour and a half program that will teach the children self discipline, build self esteem, and help them to make healthy life choices while learning boxing techniques. The children will spend an hour with a Professional Athlete and/or Instructor learning boxing and kickboxing techniques, or other fitness related activities. Half an hour will be spent teaching the children the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by making good nutritional choices.

The children will be provided with the Ogden Family Foundation t-shirts, and any additional equipment needed to participate in this program along with lunch. 

For questions, please call 702-546-9988.

Kinship Advocacy Network (K.A.N.) Meetings

These are meetings of dedicated kinship caregiver advocates to discuss a policy change agenda for kinship families in Nevada. Oftentimes laws and policies feel unfair towards kinship families. If you are interested in working towards positive change for kinship families in Nevada, please join us!

We had our first Grassroots advocacy group meeting and discussed many important topics:
  • Nevada is a judge choice state which means laws are based on the judge’s discretion.
  • We would like the child’s best interest to be considered by implementing better transition plans with reunification.
  • We would like to change the TANF means test and make TANF available to fictive kin.
  • It would be beneficial to have guardianship specific child welfare workers to better assist kinship clients
  • There are many kinship families that are not aware of Foster Kinship and we believe the best way to get the word out is by having an advocate go to the schools to talk about Foster Kinship.
Upcoming Kinship Advocacy Network Meetings:
  • June 29th 1:30-3:30
  • July 31st 1:30-3:30
  • August 31st 1:30-3:30
  • September 28th 1:30-3:30
  • October 26th 1:30-3:30
  • November 30th 1:30-3:30
  • December 21st 1:30-3:30
If you would like to join, but can’t be here in person we have an online conference line you can join!  https://www.uberconference.com/fosterkinship . C ontact Anntesha Chesterton to RSVP and pin to join at  Anntesha@fosterkinship.org

REGISTER HERE or call (702) 546-9988
Emergency Resources

If you are in need of diapers, formula, clothing, strollers or other basic needs to care for children in your home, please reach out to one of our Family Advocates Monday-Saturday 10 AM- 4 PM at (702) 546-9988. Our Kinship Resource Center is located in our office: 4344 W Cheyenne, 89032.

Thank you to the incredible students at Alexander Dawson School for recently donating all these diapers and containers of formula to restock our Kinship Resource Center!

Community Partner Spotlight: Futons 4 Less and Nirvana Beds

One of the biggest needs kinship families face is beds for everyone in the home! Futons 4 Less has been partnering with Foster Kinship for years, providing a great deal on twin size mattress sets, frame and delivery.

Now, Nirvana Bed is taking it one step farther, giving a bed away to a child in kinship care for every bed purchased! Please share this link ( www.fosterkinship.org/nirvana ) with anyone who is looking to purchase a bed and one will be donated back to a family in our Kinship Navigator Program!
Family Events

Our wonderful field placement student, Ty, put together some family events! Click here to view some everyday family events and some that you may want to schedule for a special treat for the kiddos!

Any upcoming events that we didn't put in here will be posted on our public Facebook page - Foster Kinship or our private Facebook Group - "Nevada Kinship Caregivers". Please continue checking back!
Training Program

Newest Members of the Training Program
Berenice - Facilitator
Gus - Childcare Provider

We are so excited for Berenice and Gus to be a part of the Foster Parent team! Both new members work at the Department of Family Services. We love the experience they bring with them and their knowledge of working within the system.

Berenice, a foster and adoptive parent, is a Foster Parent Champion at the Department of Family Services. Berenice is going to bring her wealth of resources and experiences to our licensing classes as a new facilitator.

Gus is our new childcare provider and will be working with kids that attend classes with caregivers. You might recognize him from Peggy's Attic, where he works during the day!
Kinship Licensing Classes

We continue to offer Kinship Licensing classes for all caregivers caring for a relative placed with them by Department of Family Services.

We have recently added a Friday AM class from 10-1 PM. We hope this helps meets caregivers needs, especially during the summer months. Remember children MUST be registered for childcare.

If you have any questions about the specific licensing class schedule, view our website for a monthly schedule of class here , please call Foster Kinship, or speak with your DFS kinship licensing technician. 
CPR & Car Seat Classes
CPR/AED/First Aid is required for all caregivers and non-primaries going through the DFS licensing process.

Car Seat is required for caregivers caring for children in DFS care six years old or younger. If you are unsure, speak with your licensing technician.

There is no child care for these free classes.

Space is limited, please call the Foster Kinship office to register: 702-546-9988. 
Required QPI Videos for Licensing
If you are working on your license (kinship caregivers who have children with an open DFS case), there are two required QPI videos that you have to watch for licensing: Normalcy and Emergency Preparedness. We have created study guides for the required videos licensed caregivers much watch for re-licensing hours. Click here to view our available study guides.
We continue to offer our computers for you to use at our office in order to complete videos required for licensing and re-licensing, please call to request an appointment (702) 546-9988.

Or join us for our classroom QPI training- free childcare included with RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/482948455457469/
Training Spotlight: Car Seat Safety
Did you know.....
  • NHTSA reports that about 70% of all car accidents occur within 10 miles from home.
  • Car seats expire! (If your seat does not show an expiration date it will be six years from the manufacture date).
  • Your retainer clip should always be at armpit level. See orange arrow in picture.
  • For forward facing only car seats, make sure to use the tether that goes in the back of the seat.
  • Harnesses for rear facing should always be at the child’s shoulders or below.
  • For forward facing car seats the harnesses should be at the child’s shoulders or above.
  • Make sure that the harness isn’t too loose or too tight, you should not be able to pinch more than an inch of slack in the harness.
  • Children should not wear bulky jackets or blankets while strapped in their car seat.
ALWAYS Buckle Up –
It’s the LAW.   
More importantly we want to protect our KIDS!

Working with Birth Parents
Working with birth parents can cause predictable challenges while caring for a relative. The triangular dynamic between caregiver, biological parent, and child causes stress and anxiety (DiSciullo & Dunifon, n.d.). Furthermore, grandparents usually feel conflicted between their feelings, allegiances and difficulties with their won children and meeting the needs and dreams of the grandchildren” (DiSciullo & Dunifon, n.d., p. 1). We may hope that children are reunified with their birth parents—if it is safe and appropriate. Whether children go home or stay in a long-term nonparental placement with relatives.

Here are some ways that caregivers, children, and perhaps birth parents can feel supported during the entire journey through the child welfare system and during visitation:

  • Support groups for caregivers, children, and biological parents are encouraged and can be very beneficial. Many times, we feel like our support system is lacking. Foster Kinship has support groups for caregivers every 2nd Tuesday at 6 PM. Al-Anon and Al-Ateen meetings may also be beneficial for caregivers and youth.
  • Do not make excuses for parents regarding their actions or for missed visitation. You can control your own behavior and actions, but not the birth parents. For missed visits, empathize with the child but make no excuses for the parents such as “Oh they must be working”. Instead, tell the children, “I am so sorry your parents did not come and that you are upset”.
  • Have a special activity planned after visitation. A special activity may look like the park, out to eat, a lollipop, anything that the children will enjoy!
  • Reassure the children that none of this is their fault. Many times, children can feel like the spotlight is on them throughout this journey. Let them know they are loved and it is OK to miss their parents.
  • Do not burden children with the legal or logistical details of being placed with you formally or voluntarily. Use your support system if you need to vent your feelings. Also, you can always call Foster Kinship for emotional support.
  • Have the children write letters to their parents. It’s OK if children do not give the letters to their parents, but this activity can help them express their emotions in a safe way. They may even write a letter they feel comfortable enough to give to their parents.
  • Validate all emotions during this process. You as caregivers and the children in your care have a right to your emotions. It is OK to feel sad, angry, and at times lost. These are all normal to the grieving process.
  • Be kind to yourself and focus on your self-care. Remember self-care does not have to cost a million dollars, its about finding what helps you feel rejuvenated. Take care of yourself so you can be your best self when taking care of the children.

-Adapted from Biological Parents and Kinship Care: It's Complicated! By Emi DiScuiullo and Rachel Dunifon, complied by Leah Dods, Training Program Manager.

Servicios en Espanol
Meet the Manager
Sandy Vargas, Program Support Manager and Spanish Speaking Family Advocate

For two years, Sandy was a fictive kin caregiver and she understands the legal and financial obstacles informal families can face. Sandy provides bilingual case management services to Spanish speaking kinship families and is a notary public, certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, and CPR/First Aid/AED instructor. Sandy also provides administrative and financial oversight for the organization. Sandy can be reached at Sandy@FosterKinship.org. 
Si usted necesita asistencia con su aplicación de licencia por favor comuníquese con Sandy Vargas al 702-546-9988. Estoy a su disposición de martes a Sábado.
Tenemos grupo de apoyo cada segundo martes del mes a las 6:00 pm en Foster Kinship 4344 W. Cheyenne Ave 89032. Usted puede conocer más personas que están posiblemente en la misma situación que usted. Puede traer sus niños(as) y servimos cena.
En Foster Kinship puede hacer una cita para asistencia con sus formas para Tutela (Guardianship). Muchas veces familias se quedan con la responsabilidad de cuidar a un pariente y necesitan ayuda con el proceso de Tutela y saber que recursos hay para un Cuidador Pariente (Kinship Caregiver). Si usted necesita asistencia con formas de Tutela, llame al 702-546-9988 y pregunte por Sandy. 
QPI Nevada es un entrenamiento vía computadora que va ser parte de sus requisitos para obtener la licencia. Puede utilizar el enlace donde indica oprime para hacerlo en su computadora (no se recomienda utilizar celular). Si usted necesita asistencia con la computadora le invitamos a que venga al entrenamiento de grupo que será el 21 de Junio de 6 a 9 pm. Tenemos guardería de niños para este evento. Por favor llame a Sandy 702-546-9988 para inscribirse. Si necesita utilizar una computadora puede hacer una cita de Martes-Sábado para ver los videos. 

 Si usted necesita tomar clases de RCP o Silla de Seguridad de Auto, por favor revise los tiempos anotados en la sección Training Corner. Revise las fechas y llame al 702-546-9988 para inscribirse a la clase puede preguntar por Michelle o Sandy si necesita asistencia en español. Estas clases no tienen guardería de niños. Favor de planificar su clase de acuerdo a su cuidadora de niños o si tiene pareja ustedes pueden alternar clases. Agradecemos su cooperación con las reglas.
Volunteer Spotlight!
Thank you so much to the Gill family who spent time sorting bags of clothing donations and separating by gender and size! This allows us to ensure we can distribute more to kinship families who come to our Kinship Resource Center! We are also grateful for all the donors of clothing and other household items that help so many. For more information about volunteering, please contact Leah Dods by emailing Leah@FosterKinship.org.
Thank you to our 2018 Donors!!

Simona Johnson, Scott and Liza Ozborne, Roann Zahn, Helen Neill, Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation Inc, Together we Rise, Leap Gen, The James E and Beverly Rogers Educational Foundation, Bank of America, Engelstad Family Foundation, Christine Worrell, Lorene and Steven Craver, Patrick Stiff, Michael Salvatori*, Bob O'Donnell, Marcie O'Donnell*, Michelle McGuire*, Michele Howser*, Anthem Community Church*, Alexander Dawson School, Dorina Goetz, Susan Parsons, Jackie Giddy, Jill Irvine, Pamela Convertino, Lynn Collins, Cashman Family Foundation, Linda Newill, Nevada Community Foundation- Cox Workplace Giving Fund, Savers, My Stuff Bags, 2018 NV Big Give Donors

*Current Monthly Giver
Foster Kinship | 702-546-9988| FamilyAdvocate@fosterkinship.org | www.FosterKinship.org