Support For When You Need to Take on Parenting Duties

A close up image of a child's small hand holding an adult hand.

When children must be separated from their parents, placing them with other family members is the ideal solution to the situation. But often these newly created families, known as kinship families, did not expect to become caregivers. There are more than 5,000 kinship caregivers in our county.

Attend Kinship Family Institute Info Session Saturday, March 10


“The responsibility of raising another’s child often comes suddenly and caregivers may not always be prepared for becoming a kinship caregiver to a relative’s child or close family friend. Caregivers may feel overwhelmed and all alone.” Nannette M. Bowler, Director, Department of Family Services

To provide the critical support needed, the county’s Department of Family Services launched the Kinship Family Institute earlier this year. The program provides services to support the entire kinship family, including the caregivers, children and biological parents.

“Kinship families are becoming more visible in our community, and have expressed a desire to have assistance on respite, support groups, training, financial assistance and legal advice,” Bowler says. “The mission of the Institute is to provide services to kinship families in order to strengthen and support these families through their challenging times.”


What Services Are Provided?

The Institute provides a full menu of support services, including:

  • Kinship Care Support Group: Find out about community resources you may not have known exist. Talk with others who understand how difficult and joyful this responsibility can be. Child care may be provided.
Get More Details on Support Group


“Feedback from kinship caregivers has told us that these services can make a big difference in the lives of these families,” said Bowler.

Get more information on the Kinship Family Institute or call 703-246-4KIN (4546), TTY 711.

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