Expanding Family Ties Program

With the implementation of the State of California Continuum of Care Reform Act (CCR) in 2016, Kinship Center is working closely with Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties in sharing its expertise in the field of child permanence.  The CCR legislation comprehensively reforms placement and treatment options for youth in foster care and is designed out of an understanding that children who must live apart from their biological parents do best when they are cared for in committed nurturing family homes.  CCR reduces the use of group homes and residential facilities for children and youth which has resulted in an increase in family-based care for children and youth, most of whom have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect. Placement with family members is the preferred option for any child removed from their birth parent, but relatives often need assistance to take on this role and manage the stress of the inevitable lifestyle changes. Consequently, Kinship Center is experiencing both an increase in caseload and the need for more intensive in-home supports for families raising their minor kin relatives served through our Family Ties program.

Presently Kinship Center is serving 260 families raising 600 children in our Family Ties Program. This year, we project our Family Ties caseload to increase to 300 families raising 650 children, as more relatives are located and assessed to care for their kin.  In addition, as a result of the CCR, all relatives who care for children connected to the child welfare system must go through a new assessment process, allowing for determination of need for referral to Family Ties.

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