In December 2020, the OhioKAN team from the Dayton area was contacted by a 30 Days to Family® Ohio staff member about a family who was exiting their program. OhioKAN was able to connect with this mother of 5 who is currently caring for her niece. The mother had recently agreed to extend her family again to include her son’s best friend from school.
This young man was in his late teens and had spent a significant time in foster care prior to coming into this placement. After contacting the OhioKAN Program and speaking to the Regional Coach, the kinship caregiver relayed needing support in getting a bed for this young person through a local furniture bank.
As Christmas approached, the young person needed to be moved into the new home much faster than anticipated due to a medical emergency with his previous foster family. The OhioKAN staff and the kinship caregiver worked together to support the family to get household items to prepare for the young person’s arrival.
In addition to the items for the young person, the OhioKAN Program was also able to supply the other children in the home with backpacks as this was another need determined in conversation with the staff. OhioKAN is honored to work directly with kinship caregivers to support them in finding solutions to the complex issues they face as they provide care for young people in their home!
OhioKAN is a statewide Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program. Families can connect one-on-one with a navigator by phone, email, or text. Navigators connect kinship and adoptive families with services and resources to address the specific needs they express. Kinnect sought out the opportunity to design OhioKAN because we wanted it to meet the needs of families and youth we were already serving.
Call 1-844-OhioKAN or visit https://ohiokan.jfs.ohio.gov/ to learn more.
Kinnect to Family is an intense, specialized program that operates in over 25 Ohio counties. Kinnect to Family Specialists engage in urgent, diligent family search and engagement. They work alongside traditional caseworkers with the goal of identifying at least 80 extended family members for each child. They find 150 people on average! The goal is not only to identify caregivers for the child but also to support them by creating a network of connections in partnership with them. For example, some family members may not be able to care for a child in their home full-time, but they may be able to transport them to school, activities, or appointments, provide childcare, offer support through relationships, or provide financial support. Children served by Kinnect to Family are significantly more likely to remain connected to their family, culture, and community, setting them up for success as adults.
To learn more, please visit https://kinnectohio.org/what-we-do/kinnecttofamily/