City Awards Funding Dedicated to Kinship Caregivers

SEATTLE—The City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is investing $191,500 in Kinship Caregiver Support Program (KCSP) to help people caring for their relatives. The Kinship Navigator, Kinship Collaboration Coordinator and Kinship Caregiver Support Program Services provide support for caregivers and the agencies that support them. Kinship care includes relatives caring for children age 18 or younger. Kinship caregivers, mostly grandparents, often struggle with the challenges of parenting a second family.

As part of the City’s Age-Friendly initiative and HSD’s commitment to promote healthy aging, the department is funding programs with the goal of 1) Reducing the physical and emotional stress experienced by kinship caregivers; 2) Addressing basic needs by increasing access to support, such as food, Medicare, TANF, etc.; 3) Improving the ability of kinship caregivers to experience stable health; and 4) Improve the ability of older adult kinship caregivers to age in place successfully.

“This funding helps us to build a healthier community by taking care of those who care for others, especially older individuals who may have already raised one family, said Catherine L. Lester, Director of HSD.

Neighborhood House, Encompass Northwest, and Renton Area Youth and Family Services will receive $76,194 collectively in funding for the Kinship Caregiver Support Program (KCPS)—which provides supportive services to kinship caregivers age 55 and older caring for a family member’s child. KCPS services are provided in a culturally appropriate manner in geographic areas where caregivers reside. All three awardees are current providers of this service, and have demonstrated a commitment to effectively serve target populations including African American, Alaska Native/American Indian and Hispanic/Latino.

Catholic Community Services will receive $115,306 in funding for both the Kinship Navigator and Kinship Collaboration Coordinator programs. The Kinship Navigator provides outreach and information about available resources and services to kinship caregivers age 18 and older who are caring for a family member’s child. The Kinship Navigator is the primary referral source to the Kinship Caregiver Support Program supplemental funds. These funds are available to kinship caregivers to help address emergent caregiver needs. The Kinship Collaboration Coordinator plays a vital role in bringing together caregivers, service providers and partner agencies with a unified goal of creating comprehensive services, advocacy, community outreach and education.

The contract period is from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.