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Generations United Announces 10 KinNET Grants Are Available for 2002–2003

12/4/2001:   Last year, Generations United (GU), was awarded a cooperative agreement from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish KinNET, a national network of support groups for relatives caring for kin in foster care. KinNET focuses on the unique needs of kinship caregivers and provides sessions on topics such as the legal, psychological, and socioeconomic implications of becoming a guardian or adoptive parent. To maximize the resources and services available, GU’s partner in KinNET is the Brookdale Foundation Group (www.ewol.com/brookdale), which funds support groups for relatives raising children outside the foster care system.

For specific information, go to www.gu.org, click on KinNET, then on General Public. Guidelines and an application form for the Request for Applications (RFP) for 2002–2003 are available, as well as a list of the 10 sites first funded in 2001–2002. Funding applicants must be local agencies with 501[c]3 or equivalent tax-exempt status. Proposals must be submitted by February 15, 2002.

GU and Brookdale will select 10 programs from throughout the United States for initial funding in 2002–2003. Each selected organization will receive a mini-grant of $10,000 to start one or more support groups for relatives caring for kin in foster care over a two-year period ($6,000 and $4,000, respectively). Year 2 funding is contingent on progress made during Year 1 and the potential for future continuity. Each grantee must match at least 10% of the grant.

KinNET’s overall goal of creating a national network will be accomplished through:
  • Inviting 12 support groups in the existing Brookdale Relatives as Parents Program to participate. The groups must have a majority of participants who (1) have been caring for kin in the formal foster care system or (2) have had contact with the child welfare agency in their community and are raising children who are at risk of being placed in the formal foster care system.
  • Providing to the support groups multiple forms of technical assistance and training, including Internet-based bulletin boards and chats with experts.
  • Evaluating the national network of support groups and identifying exemplary practices suitable for replications. To identify exemplary practices and determine KinNET’s success, a team of evaluators from Syracuse University will use the outcome measures from the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA): permanency, safety, and child and family well-being.

GU’s KinNET General Public web page also links to numerous other organizations that focus on kinship care, including Child Welfare League of America (www.cwla.org).

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