Families       Come in all     Shapes & Sizes…         Serving  Non-Traditional FamiliesSusan Graham,Program SpecialistEar...
Objectives•   Define non-traditional families•   Identify family strengths and challenges•   Identify possible impact on d...
When you think about “familystructure” what is your familiarframework?What trends do you see in familystructure and how it...
Family…   A healthy family is one that provides for basic    needs such as food, shelter and economic    support.   Beyo...
Rare, if not, gone…
Non-traditional Family Definition: ”Two or more people in a relationship that  is not recognized either by the federal or...
Single parenting…. Single moms    Single dads
Same sex parenting….
Sisters living with mom…
Blended families…..•   Projections are that 1 out of 10 children    will go through two divorces before they    are 16 yea...
Kinship Care in U.S. 2.7 million children living in extended  families; 54,000 of these are in South Carolina; 18% incr...
Kinship Caregivers are morelikely to… Face  economic hardships Single Older Have less education Be unemployed.
Your Non-traditional Family… Think   of the families you serve… Hold  in your mind a family that is not the  old fashion...
Strengths and challenges Write      down 2 strengths of this family. Think about their latest assessment of risks or reso...
Strategies Use  your Windows on Learning handout to list some of the strategies that are shared by your colleagues…
Work or school…scheduling?
When and Where to visit?   Share ideas for making your visits work   with these families…   How   do you overcome barrie...
Gatekeepers…
Grandmothers are…  Howimportant are the grandmothers?  How   do we build a relationship with them?  Friend   or Foe?
Grandmas read too…
Powerful Influence Thesegrandmothers are a very influential part of the family… Share your successes in forming bonds wi...
Kinship Care Benefits…..•   Keeping Families Together•   Benefiting Children•   Utilizing and Preserving Cultural Values
Honor through listening
Some proven strategies:   Follow the child…   Find strengths and embrace family structure.   Coordinate HV with other c...
Opportunities to strengthenKinship in South Carolina   Provide greater financial stability for kin families       Reorga...
Primary caregivers?
Love and hopeThey don’t care howmuch you know untilthey know how muchyou care.
Follow Up Activity: Choose  a strategy to enhance the family  that you chose today. Trythat strategy with the family ove...
Contacts:Susan D. Graham             David M. LairdProgram Specialist          Director of Policy & Gov’tEarly Steps to Sc...
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Working with Non-traditional Families and Kinship Care in South Carolina

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S.Graham presentation given at the 2012 South Carolina Home Visiting Summit

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  • The term family can have different meanings to different people depending on their background. It is important to acknowledge and support roles played by extended family members or close family friends. Families is America have gone through significant change in the past decades. Family structure and family climate matter for the well being of children.When you think about “family structure” what is your familiar framework? What trends do you see in family structure and how it changing?Examples of “alternative” family structure:Increase number of individuals choosing to delay marriageIncrease in individuals choosing to never marryCouples living together increasingDivorce continues to increase
  • We each have our own picture/framework of “family” (structure) that is familiar. Examples of “alternative” family structure:Increase number of individuals choosing to delay marriageIncrease in individuals choosing to never marryCouples living together increasingDivorce continues to increase
  • Quality family relationships depend on whether families find fulfillment and support in families.
  • 3 out of 10 children live in traditional families with two parents in their first and only marriage.
  • Old-fashioned (whatever that is), or brand-new (to us), there is no kind of love and no kind of family we should ever turn our back on. Friends creating a household, people joining forces to care for elderly parents, single parents creating a little village, single men and women finding some passionate attachment to others, whether romantic or platonic: Let's throw open the doors in our lives to a variety of families, and gather up the whole beautiful, variegated bouquet of them.
  • Single parents the most recognized form of non-traditional family.Almost half of all children will experience this family structure at some point in their lives. Impact: low income, loss of parent, parent to parent stress/tension…..Benefits/strengths:Strategies:
  • APA Research by Charlotte J. Patterson, PhDIn summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth. In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth. Results of research to date suggest that children of lesbian and gay parents have positive relationships with peers and that their relationships with adults of both sexes are also satisfactory. The picture of lesbian mothers' children that emerges is one of general engagement in social life with peers, with fathers, with grandparents, and with mothers' adult friends-both male and female, both heterosexual and homosexual. Fears about children of lesbians and gay men being sexually abused by adults, ostracized by peers, or isolated in single-sex lesbian or gay communities have received no support from the results of existing research.Impact: possible stigmatism from community, stereotype,Benefits/strengths:Strategies:
  • Impact: Benefits/strengths:Strategies:
  • Impact: adjusting to divorce, separation, blending can cause stress, abandonment, and sibling issues.Benefits/strengths:Strategies:
  • Knowing these statistics, compels us to pay attention to the varying structures of our families. We definitely see these in our work with at-risk families. So how do we go about serving the diverse needs of these children and their collage of families that are raising them?
  • Knowing these statistics, compels us to pay attention to the varying structures of our families. We definitely see these in our work with at-risk families. So how do we go about serving the diverse needs of these children and their collage of families that are raising them?
  • So…how do you serve these families. Paint us a canvas of what these families look like…
  • Share some of your strengths and challenges with us…
  • As we all share our successful strategies, use this tool (the handout sent to you) to write down the strategies that work.
  • One of the biggest challenges is scheduling with your families.
  • Share some of your strategies that have worked…
  • Activity… Tell us what you called your grandmother? The names vary so much just like families. Grandmothers are the gatekeeper to the family…especially for teens. One of the ECCs in SC can attest…She had to get the grandma to convince the mom of the teen to let her in the house. If you establish trust with grandma then the family will open up to you as the visitor.
  • Over 6.7 million children across the country lives with “grandfamilies” (4.9 with grandparents & 1.8 with other relatives). Impact ~ research shows a greater increase in health concerns of grandparents raising children then grandparents who do not have grandchildren in the home. The demands of parenting a second time around can cause both emotional and physical stress.Strategy ~ focus on importance of self care.Impact~ affordable housingChildren in kinship care families face a continuum of challenges to their well-being, often sparked by thedifficulty caregivers have obtaining legal relationships to them. The lack of a legal relationship can impede theability to obtain financial assistance, affordable housing, supportive services, medical care, health insurance,and educational enrollment. Legal proceedings may be avoided due to strain it brings to family members and hope that parents will resume parenting one day.
  • Think of the influence that grands have on the child’s development. So should we be visiting with them instead of, or along with the parent? What has been working for you?One of the grands that my ECCs visits really loves the books. She said that she comes over to the house and reads books to her grand children. She said that she wants them to have more self confidence for school than she did. The early books and reading helps…When we can get this kind of support, the impact can be huge!
  • Now share yours…Successes…part of your follow up…
  • Keeping Families Together. Placing children with grandparents helps to maintain healthy connections to thefamily and its traditions. In many cases kinship caregiving enables sibling groups to remain intact. Children thatare cared for by kin are able, to a greater extent, to maintain relationships with their birth parents and other familymembers.Benefiting Children. Children in kinship care have more stability in their living situation than they have in a non-kinfoster care placement. Children placed with kin by the child welfare system are less likely to experience multipleplacements, and are more likely to stay within the same community and school system.Utilizing and Preserving Cultural Values. Historically, families of color especially have offered care to childrenin the extended family, providing culturally-specific care that maintains the child’s connection to the cultural normsand practices that inform his or her identity.1 U.S. Census 2000 SF1, table P28, Relationship by Household Type for Population Under 18 Years
  • Consider these active listening steps (from about.com)1. Look at the person, and suspend other things you are doing.2. Listen not merely to the words, but the feeling content.3. Be sincerely interested in what the other person is talking about.4. Restate what the person said.5. Ask clarification questions once in a while.6. Be aware of your own feelings and strong opinions.7. If you have to state your views, say those only after you have listened.If you are watching with someone else, you can stop and try these steps with them…Active listening can have deep, empowering breakthroughs. Those breakthroughs help you plan better for the family.
  • life…such as child care and preschool too…Have systems of care that are inclusive.Individuals choosing an alternative family structure must be supported and equipped for success in family relationships responsibilities.
  • life…such as child care and preschool too…Have systems of care that are inclusive.Individuals choosing an alternative family structure must be supported and equipped for success in family relationships responsibilities.
  • Who is the primary caregiver? Sometimes hard to decide…so how do you know in these families that have multiple caregivers. What if you have to work with a secondary caregiver? Could the portfolio be your glue that connects the primary caregiver to your Plan and Play or ZTT handouts? Do you try to make at least one visit each month with the primary? Flexibility is key!
  • I know you have heard this but it seems so relevant to our work with “non-traditional” families. Our core beliefs are all about relationships and trust. Like Maslow’s hierarchy, trust is the foundation. A strong foundation is key to building the family up and empowering them to get their child ready for school.
  • Sources to enhance your learning further!
  • Working with Non-traditional Families and Kinship Care in South Carolina

    1. 1. Families Come in all Shapes & Sizes… Serving Non-Traditional FamiliesSusan Graham,Program SpecialistEarly Steps to School SuccessSave the ChildrenDavid Laird,Dir. Of Policy & Gov’t AffairsChildren’s Trust of South Carolina
    2. 2. Objectives• Define non-traditional families• Identify family strengths and challenges• Identify possible impact on development• Identify strategies that build relationships to empower each family
    3. 3. When you think about “familystructure” what is your familiarframework?What trends do you see in familystructure and how it changing?
    4. 4. Family… A healthy family is one that provides for basic needs such as food, shelter and economic support. Beyond the basics, family provides love, affection, a sense of identity, and a sense of belonging. Families also provide a worldview or a spiritual belief that can help make sense of the world, as well as rules and boundaries for appropriate behavior and skills for dealing with the world.
    5. 5. Rare, if not, gone…
    6. 6. Non-traditional Family Definition: ”Two or more people in a relationship that is not recognized either by the federal orstate government as a marital relationship.”
    7. 7. Single parenting…. Single moms Single dads
    8. 8. Same sex parenting….
    9. 9. Sisters living with mom…
    10. 10. Blended families…..• Projections are that 1 out of 10 children will go through two divorces before they are 16 years old.
    11. 11. Kinship Care in U.S. 2.7 million children living in extended families; 54,000 of these are in South Carolina; 18% increase over the past decade. 1 of every 4 children (104,000) in foster care are living with their relatives. 1 in 11 children live in kinship for at least three months prior to 18th birthday. 1 in 5 African-American children live in kinship care situations.
    12. 12. Kinship Caregivers are morelikely to… Face economic hardships Single Older Have less education Be unemployed.
    13. 13. Your Non-traditional Family… Think of the families you serve… Hold in your mind a family that is not the old fashioned, typical, family with a mother, father and child(ren) all living together… Write down this family and all the people you interact with in this house…
    14. 14. Strengths and challenges Write down 2 strengths of this family. Think about their latest assessment of risks or resources. Now think about a challenge of working with this family…
    15. 15. Strategies Use your Windows on Learning handout to list some of the strategies that are shared by your colleagues…
    16. 16. Work or school…scheduling?
    17. 17. When and Where to visit?  Share ideas for making your visits work with these families…  How do you overcome barriers?  Forworking or teen parents, how do you offer flexibility?
    18. 18. Gatekeepers…
    19. 19. Grandmothers are…  Howimportant are the grandmothers?  How do we build a relationship with them?  Friend or Foe?
    20. 20. Grandmas read too…
    21. 21. Powerful Influence Thesegrandmothers are a very influential part of the family… Share your successes in forming bonds with them that enhance impact of programming…
    22. 22. Kinship Care Benefits…..• Keeping Families Together• Benefiting Children• Utilizing and Preserving Cultural Values
    23. 23. Honor through listening
    24. 24. Some proven strategies: Follow the child… Find strengths and embrace family structure. Coordinate HV with other care in child’s life. Use open ended questions and reflective listening.
    25. 25. Opportunities to strengthenKinship in South Carolina Provide greater financial stability for kin families  Reorganize TANF Strengthen Kinship families involved in child welfare system  Fostering Connections  Title IV-E Waivers Strengthen other community-based responses for kin families  Housing  Health Care  Affordable legal representation
    26. 26. Primary caregivers?
    27. 27. Love and hopeThey don’t care howmuch you know untilthey know how muchyou care.
    28. 28. Follow Up Activity: Choose a strategy to enhance the family that you chose today. Trythat strategy with the family over the next month. Share the results with a colleague…
    29. 29. Contacts:Susan D. Graham David M. LairdProgram Specialist Director of Policy & Gov’tEarly Steps to School AffairsSuccess Children’s Trust of SCSave the Children W-(803) 744-4047c-(803) 528-4935 C- (202) 446-8809W-(803) 739-0602; ext. 13 dlaird@scchildren.orgsgraham@savechildren.org

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