Relatives as Parents Conference: February 22

Date Posted: 2/13/2014

Some 97% of relatives parenting a family member’s child find themselves suddenly raising children on an already-strained income with no training, help or services.
Many congregations across the TAC have families in this situation and leaders as well as “kinship” placement families can learn of resources, services and training at an upcoming conference on February 22 at Depelchin Children’s Center.
“It touches my heart when I see the pain and heartache among parents who must step in and help raise children of other family members,” says Rev. Amy Bezecny of the Hope and Healing Center. Pursuing state support is only an option if the child officially entered state conservatorship. The reality is that fewer than 3% of kinship placements ever enter state care, which means 97% are suddenly raising children on an already strained income with no training, help or services.

Also, she adds, they can only adopt the child(ren) if the biological parents relinquish their parental rights. If biological parents do not relinquish their rights, the caring relative has no rights at doctor offices, schools, emergency rooms and more. Although it may not be a total surprise when it happens, many of these step-in parents experience this drastic life change suddenly. Churches can help by suggesting families and leaders attend this upcoming training to become aware of resources, services or training that may be available to those that need them.

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