(Ohio) – As Kinship Care Month is recognized this month, the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services is launching a new resource designed for those providing love and care to children that are not their own.
As defined by the agency, a kinship is when a family member or person with a family-like relation is deemed the primary caregiver to a child for a certain period of time. Kinships may include children being placed with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins or even a family friend.
In honor of the awareness month, the Ohio JFS is announcing a new online resource for family members caring for children. “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving home, but there are far too many Ohio children that can’t remain at home because of parental substance use disorders,” explained Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in a press release. “This resource adds to the supports available for kinship caregivers because the need is greater than ever.”
The website offers a calendar of training and events, an interactive map to locate local services, a contact form that can link the caregiver to one-on-one assistance and answers questions.
According to the Ohio JFS, the state currently has an estimated 100,000 grandparents and other relatives who have volunteered to care for children when their own parents cannot. “They have made a courageous, life-changing decision, and we are honored to provide this resource so that they can more easily access information and supports,” added Ohio JFS Director Kimberly Hall.
The online resource can be accessed here.