What Is Kinship Navigation?

January 20, 2022 | 6 min read

Over time, countless studies have looked into the impact of change and home-life transitions on younger children. These studies found that when a home-life or caregiving transition is necessary, children develop at a higher rate and respond to these changes better when they stay around loved ones.

What does that mean?

Children benefit from being cared for by people they know, trust, and can rely on. After all, permanency is always the ultimate goal when it comes to childcare. It’s our fundamental belief that every child has a right to a safe, loving, and stable home. We work to achieve this goal by offering a variety of services and support through Kinship Navigation.

Kinship Navigation: An Overview

Kinship Navigation helps guide you to the emotional, financial, legal, and physical resources you and your family need, regardless of how your family was formed. Our mission is to help you access the tools and strategies you need to provide excellent care for the children in your life. If you are a kinship caregiver providing primary care for a child that isn’t your own, we’re a simple phone call away from helping you manage your responsibilities.

While caring for a child can be an incredibly rewarding and meaningful experience, we know that it can also come with its fair share of struggles. The additional responsibilities that come with caring for children unexpectedly can impact financial stability and emotional balance which can lead to feeling overwhelmed as you navigate your new role as a caregiver.

@NEChildrensHome breaks down how their #KinshipNavigation services can help connect parents to the resources, materials, and support they need to care for the kids in their life: Click To Tweet

That’s what the intent of Kinship Navigation is — to help you move beyond the clutter, create an action plan, and grow to provide the best parenting you can for the children in your care.

Kinship Navigation Services

Kinship Navigation supports caregivers and children with an exhaustive library of resources. With countless connections to community services, peer support groups, certified specialists, and educational resources, we are well-equipped to help support you with whatever challenges you encounter.

Some of the services that we offer include connecting you with:

  • Benefits — Our benefits services can vary based on your specific needs. We have connections to resources that help support and offset food, healthcare, living expenses, and educational expenses. While financial assistance is not available in all scenarios, it is worth looking into these services to see how we can connect you to various support organizations.
  • Education — We help to connect you with opportunities to enhance your parenting skills. These training and classes will help you feel better equipped to take on your new parenting role, become more involved in the lives of the children in your care, and identify ways to become more self-sufficient. These classes are a great opportunity to connect with individuals in similar situations and learn from one another’s personal experiences.
  • Emotional and Mental Health Support — Part of being an excellent parent or caregiver relies on your ability to take care of your own mental and emotional health. You need to be at your best to parent at your best, meaning that you and your child’s mental and emotional health is paramount. Through Kinship Navigation, we can connect you to a variety of support groups and mental health services to help you create strong strategies for managing your and your child(ren)’s needs.  Let us help connect you to support groups to keep your spirits strong. 
  • Legal Advice and Aid — You might not need any legal assistance or aid, but in case you do, our services help set up connections to legal experts and specialists. These support systems will be around for you to lean on if you need advice, assistance with forms, or other legal needs.  
  • Personal Care Items — We know that raising a child is a challenging task. There are a lot of expenses to keep in mind, like food, clothing, hygiene supplies, school materials, child development toys, and more. For someone taking care of another person’s child, these expenses can quickly pile up. We help connect you to outlets that help you obtain the items you need. 
  • Stress Management — It’s no secret that everyone encounters stress from time to time. Finding ways to manage, process, and move on from stressful situations is crucial for those caring for kids. With assistance from Kinship Navigation, we can connect you with certified specialists that are here to listen and here to help. Together, you can work through strategies for managing your stress so that you can keep moving forward.
With support from @NEChildrensHome’s #KinshipNavigation services, you can build out strategies to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for the children in your life: Click To Tweet

While these services are specific to our Kinship Navigation program, NCHS offers a variety of continuous education programs to strengthen your skills as a parent and connections to the children in your care. To learn more about these other services, check out our website.

Let’s Get Started

We know that asking for help can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be! You are not alone in this experience; countless kinship caregivers have been in your shoes and are more than willing and able to help you along your journey as well.

There is no obligation, only opportunity.

Rest assured that thousands of parents deal with the same or similar questions, hesitations, and challenges you’re facing every day. Together, we can overcome these hurdles and support one another as we grow.

Get connected with a support system, resources designed specifically for you, and a peer network, so you don’t have to do this alone. To access these resources and assistance, all it takes is a simple call or email. By calling 888-315-7347 or emailing us at kinship@nchs.org, you’ll quickly connect with a Kinship Navigator that will help to empower you on your kinship care journey.