Dr. Joseph Crumbley
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Jenkintown, PA 19046

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Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care:

Relatives Raising Children provides professionals, agencies, institutions, communities, and organizations with the information they need to develop and provide services to kinship caregivers, kinship families, children, and biological parents.

  • Chapter One is entitled "The Benefits and Challenges of Kinship Care," compares relative or kinship care to traditional family foster care, and outlines the characteristics of kinship care that necessitate changes in outlook and practice.
  • Chapter Two,"Clinical Concepts," analyzed the clinical issues that must be considered in serving children, parents, and kinship caregivers. These issues - losses specific to kinship families, confusion about redefining roles and boundaries, split/dual loyalties, guilt and anger, and embarrassment - all have implications for the effective provisions of services to kinship families.
  • Chapter Three and Four provide guidance on practice with kinship families. Chapter Three, "Assessment and Intervention," advocates a comprehensive approach, and discusses the intrafamilial relationships that must be considered in addition to the relationships with the service worker. Chapter Four, "Case Management," addresses the managing of clinical services to the family, as well as financial, legal, health, and educational services.
  • The kinship care tradition spans cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and geographic boundaries. Chapter Five, "Race, Culture, and Other Special Considerations," considers the effect of culturally based child-rearing practices, gender roles, and hierarchy of authority on practice with kinship families, as well as the impact of parental incarceration, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Chapter Six, "Legal Relationships," looks at the legal rights, responsibilities, and status of kinship families, caregivers, parents, and children. The child's status in relation to the kinship caregiver can make a significant difference in the availability of supportive funding and services, and in lines of responsibility and authority.
  • Chapter Seven, "Federal and State Policy and Program Issues," discusses federal and state issues for program and policy development and examines the philosophy and values underlying the provision of financial support to kinship families, the emerging federal role, state policy directions, and permanency planning. The chapter also identifies the programs, structures, components, and staffing essential to providing services to kinship families and concludes with a list of action steps for state and local planners.

The Appendix, "A Kinship Care Case Study," applies the materials presented throughout Relatives Raising Children to an example drawn from actual practice.

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