In looking to all this year has to offer, we are extremely optimistic about the future of the Kinship Navigator Program and the ongoing efforts to increase our growth. We are excited to update you on our latest activities that are impacting our work.
We have worked with organizations across the southern coastal counties to promote the program through various community givebacks and campaigns. Through these efforts, many individuals have been recipients of new, unopened personal hygiene products, toiletry items, clothing and school supplies. Within the last month, we have attended several community events where program brochures were provided to approximately 700 individuals in the southern counties of Mississippi.
As we all continue to adapt to situations that may arise in our lives regarding the pandemic, we remain steadfast in fulfilling our mission here at Catholic Charities of being a visible sign of Christ’s love. It is our pleasure to do this through resiliency, compassion, and perseverance.
Catholic Charities Kinship Navigator Program has continued to operate over the past year using a strengths-based approach for kinship caregivers (most often grandparents but also aunts, uncles and even siblings and can include non-blood related also known as “fictive kin”) serving as short-term or long-term primary caregivers for children not biologically theirs. We are excited to share our expansion to now begin serving the central region counties.
Kinship caregivers engaged in the program will receive assistance and support in areas including, but not limited to: (1) Provide caregivers with information, referrals, and advocacy services, (2) Provide linkages to needed legal services and legal informational factsheets on whether the state has health, educational consent laws, or other legal assistance for Kinship caregivers accessing government programs, (3) Assist caregivers in utilizing existing community resources and support systems, including educational, health, mental health systems, (4) Enhancing parenting skills, and (5) Improve family resources (e.g., basic needs items, money to pay for bills, tutoring resources, recreational activities, scholarships, etc.) At a minimum, Kinship Navigators provide caregivers with information, referral, and connection services to meet immediate needs.
Referrals to the Kinship Navigator program may come from a variety of avenues. Once a valid referral is made, the family will be contacted by the assigned Kinship Navigator team via telephone, text, or email as needed to arrange an intake meeting. Feel free to contact us at (769) 218-8436 or our toll free referral line (800) 844-8655.