There are many great things to appreciate about the month of September…..cooler weather is around the corner (think of crisp nights and colourful foliage), kids are back to school (for the most part), and we are still in Stage 3! It is also a time that we appreciate kinship families and the role that they have in the permanency journey for the children and youth that we work with. The week of September 21-25th is designated as kinship awareness week and across the province, agencies are acknowledging kinship families and the important role that they play, and the connections that they provide for children and youth with their family of origins. For many children, being placed with kin allows them to stay with people who are familiar to them and know their life story. Kinship families also allow for them to remain connected to their culture, heritage and traditions which can enhance their feelings of identify and sense of belonging.
Despite the challenges related to Covid-19, kin families have stepped up to the plate to provide a home to children who required an out of home placement. This has been a trend that we have seen locally and provincially. Last year there were an average of 26% of children who required out of home care, placed with kinship families. We anticipate that this trend will be continuing as the field continues to focus on strategies to find, assess and support kin placements and acknowledge the importance of kin care for children and youth who are involved with Societies.
In previous years we have sponsored a picnic luncheon, pot luck dinner, potluck lunch catered by staff and various other activities such as bulletin board contests. Due to Covid-19, we are not able to offer this kind of acknowledgement to our kin families but we are in the process of sending personal thank you cards with a gift card for Tim Horton’s to acknowledge the contribution of our kin caregivers over the course of the last year.
In addition, we will be sending out some articles and personal stories to all staff throughout the week of September 21st to celebrate and share some of the success stories related to the placement of children in kin homes throughout LLG. Stay tuned for more information!