This article was originally published by UKNow.
The Kentucky Kinship Resource Center (KKRC), housed in the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky, has been named “Parent Group of the Year” by the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC).
The award is designed to honor parent associations and groups for their excellence in supporting adoptive, foster and kinship families.
“Our program staff work tirelessly to ensure that families across Commonwealth have access to innovative service and supports,” Jay Miller, dean of CoSW, said. “We are extremely excited and proud that those efforts are being recognized in this extraordinary way.”
The CoSW has an established history of supporting kinship caregivers across the Commonwealth.
From conducting research to launching programming, the college is on a mission to connect relatives caring for youth with an array of services designed to meet their unique needs.
In an effort to provide much needed support for kinship families, in March 2020, the college launched the Kentucky Kinship Resource Center (KKRC).
Through education and training programs, peer support and mentoring initiatives, and broad-based advocacy, the center provides a continuum of resources for kinship caregivers.
In collaboration with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), KKRC also offers the Kentucky Kinship Information, Navigation and Support Program (KY-KINS).
Families being served by KY-KINS have access to innovative peer support and mentoring initiatives. Additionally, Kinship Peer Supporters, who are caregivers themselves, undergo the comprehensive training to provide the best support possible.
KY-KINS is based on the premise that by connecting kinship caregivers to a supportive network of trained professionals, the overall well-being of the entire family will improve, and the placement of children in the home will become safer and more stable.
Ultimately, young people need caregivers, and caregivers need support.
“Kinship care is vital to the child and family service array in Kentucky,” Miller explained. As such, we will remain fervently committed to ensuring these families have the supports and services necessary for their well-being.”
Founded by adoptive parents in 1974, NACAC works to ensure all children in foster care have permanent, loving families and those families have the support they need.
The NACAC will present the award at its annual conference from July 18-21, in Kansas City, Missouri.
You can learn more about the College of Social Work here and the Kentucky Kinship Resource Center here.