Edgewood Center for Children and Families' Kinship Support Network fills the gaps in public social services to ensure that kinship caregivers and the children they care for are healthy and supported. The program began in 1993 and has become the largest program of its kind in San Francisco County.
Who are Kinship Caregivers?
Grandparents and other relatives often step in to care for children when circumstances prevent parents from doing so. Family hardships, such as unemployment, substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness, physical illness, and death can have devastating consequences on families and their ability to safely care for children. These adverse circumstances put youth in danger of being removed to foster care. Research has consistently shown that children have far better behavioral and educational outcomes when they are placed with relatives than with traditional foster care homes.
Did you know?
Edgewood's Kinship program operates both in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
Kinship caregivers tend to be older women who are less affluent and educated than non-relative guardians.
In San Francisco, 1 in 7 children are living in households headed by grandparents or other relatives.
Kinship youth often bring traumatic histories into their new homes; this trauma requires additional supports for the caregivers.
Informal kinship families who are not eligible to receive support through the Kinship Support network can use the website www.iKinship.org.
How Can Edgewood Help?
In 2014, Edgewood changed the lives of 80 kinship caregivers and 175 youth ages 4 - 18 in San Francisco County, by providing them critical case management and respite opportunities, connections to supportive Edgewood community groups such as: Eating Healthy, Wellness, and Parenting. Additionally, the program ensures that each caregiver and the children they care for received critical services, such as transportation to and from support groups, food from the San Francisco Food Bank, as well as school supplies and gift certificates.
The Kinship Support Network offers comprehensive services to support kinship families, including:
• Case management • Caregiver support groups in multiple languages located throughout San Francisco and San Mateo counties • Parenting and educational workshops • Food and supplies • Independent living skills and classes • Family activities and celebrations • Wellness activities for caregivers (mindfulness, stress reduction, harm reduction) • Referrals to Edgewood's Outpatient Mental Health Services program • A comprehensive, website: www.iKinship.org updated regularly with information for kinship families outside of San Francisco county.
Stories of Hope: Maria
Maria is a caregiver we first met a few years ago who battled osteoarthritis pain. With our help through the Kinship Support Network, she was able to raise her three grandchildren. Read her story >>.
How Do I Receive Help in San Francisco County?
Edgewood's Kinship Support Network is supported by grants from the San Francisco Human Services Agency and the Department of Adults and Aging Services, Wells Fargo, Adobe, and the Field Foundation.
• The kinship caregiver and children must reside within the city and county of San Francisco • The kinship caregiver must be the primary caregiver and guardian of the kinship children
For more details, contact:
Cynthia Green Director - Edgewood Kinship - SF, THPP, Edgewood Food Bank 415.682.3242 Cynthiag@edgewood.org