Governor Pillen proclaims September is Kinship Care Awareness Month

September 15, 2023 | 3 min read

Caption: Governor Jim Pillen presents Kinship Care Awareness Month Proclamation to NCHS Chief Executive Officer Lana Temple-Plotz. Pictured from left to right:  Camas Holder & Tony Green (DHHS); Sen. Rita Sanders; Lana Temple-Plotz (NCHS); Gov Pillen; Carly Costanzo, Kathrine Spoon & Chris Tonniges (LFS), Brooke Bouck, Mandy Shelsta & Deanna Borg (NCHS)

OMAHA, Neb. (September 15, 2023) - Governor Jim Pillen issued a proclamation in honor of kinship caregivers in a signing ceremony on September 15th. This proclamation serves as a reminder to Nebraskans of the important contributions of kin and relatives as they support and raise children across the state.

Representatives from NCHS, Lutheran Family Services (LFS) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) participated in a signing ceremony with Governor Pillen and District 45 Senator Rita Sanders in recognition of Kinship Care Awareness Month. In addition to agency representatives, kin caregivers were also present to join in the celebration and share their lived experience caring for relative children.

Every day, children across the state and around the country are cared for by relatives and close family friends. September is recognized nationally as Kinship Care Awareness Month. In Nebraska alone, 17,000 children are being raised in kinship care by grandparents, aunts and uncles, other relatives, and trusted family friends when parents are unavailable. Nearly 34% of children in foster care in Nebraska are receiving care from a relative or kin caregiver. Kinship care is a safe and supportive option for many children. Studies show that kinship care minimizes trauma, improves well-being, increases permanency, improves behavioral and mental health outcomes, promotes sibling and other relative connections, and preserves the identity of children and youth.  

Kin caregivers, like those here with us today, play an essential role in providing stability and continuity to the children in their family,” said Temple-Plotz in her remarks at the ceremony.  "Going above and beyond to provide the best care possible, many caregivers face hurdles when adjusting to their ‘new normal.

NCHS, Lutheran Family Services and the Department of Health and Human Services partner to offer kinship navigation services to families formed through kinship care. These families often face unique challenges and may struggle to accommodate the increased demands of a household that has grown unexpectedly. Through this intra-agency partnership, kinship families are connected to resources, educational classes, support groups, necessary supplies, legal guidance and financial supports within communities across the state. These services leave them better equipped to care for children and meet the needs of the entire family. 

“This September, we recognize and thank the many relative and kin caregivers of children,” Temple-Plotz said.

To learn more about NCHS Kinship Navigation services, visit

Caption: Kinship Care Awareness Month proclamation