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You are not alone.

Relative caregivers, also called kin caregivers, step up to provide stability, structure and acceptance needed during what can be a scary and traumatic time for children. When a child is able to reside with a relative, they are more likely to find comfort in the people, community and culture that is most familiar to them.

At Embrace Families, we recognize that caring for a young relative may or may not have been an anticipated event, and that you likely have other important events happening in your life. We want to ensure that you are able to meet your own needs and have support in navigating the child welfare system. In addition to monthly visits from the child’s case manager, a variety of resources are available specific to your role as a Relative Caregiver. We are all part of the team caring for our community’s most vulnerable children. Our goal is to ensure that you always have somewhere to turn when you need answers and assistance.

Resources to Support Relative Caregivers

  • Monthly Stipend: Monthly Stipend: The State of Florida provides relative caregiver assistance funds for certain eligible caregivers. This is a monthly maintenance stipend, designed to supplement the costs of caring for a young relative. Relative Caregiver Assistance funds are paid directly to the caregiver by the State of Florida through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. You may apply online (English, Spanish or Creole) for benefits at ACCESS Florida or by calling the statewide call center at 1-866-762-2267. You may also request assistance in applying through contact Kinship Support Services (see Personal Support, below).
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  • Medicaid Plan: Children involved in Florida’s child welfare system are eligible for Medicaid that covers the child’s health expenses. Embrace Families employs Nurse Care and Behavioral Health Coordinators, who are available to assist with coordination of medical, dental and behavioral health care for children and teens involved in child welfare
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  • College Tuition Waiver: Many teens and young adults in foster care are eligible for a tuition waiver to any college in the state of Florida that accepts Bright Futures. Restrictions and qualifying standards apply. For information, please email Embrace Families’ Education Manager at youthservices@embracefamilies.org.
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  • Driver’s Permit/License: : Many teens and young adults involved in child welfare are eligible for assistance in obtaining their driver’s permit/license and insurance coverage. Restrictions and qualifying standards apply. For information: call 321-441-2060 or visit www.k2i.us
  • Kinship Support Services: Our team of experts is available to you throughout this journey, so you can focus on meeting the emotional and physical needs of your young relative without sacrificing your own. In partnership with Children’s Home Network, Embrace Families offers a variety of resources through Kinship Support Services, including:
     

    • Family Support Coordinators: These specialized workers can link you to available resources, advocate for your needs, and help with applications for Relative Caregiver Assistance. .
    • Kin Navigators: These advocates are current or previous relative caregivers, like you, and can help you navigate the complex child welfare system.
    • Support Groups: Kinship Support Services offers a peer support group in community locations within each county at least once per month. Childcare is available during support groups.
    • Facebook: Kinship Support Services maintains a Facebook page with helpful information, support group calendars and other updates. Follow them online at https://www.facebook.com/chnkinship/.

     
    Please contact your child’s case manager if you would like a referral to Kinship Support Services.

     
     

  • Trainings: There are many resources available to help refine and learn new parenting skills. Ask your licensing specialist about trainings available through Embrace Families and your Child Placing Agency.
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  • “211” Mobile Crisis Unit (Orange, Osceola and Seminole): Devereux provides mobile crisis response, available 24/7/365 to help address health or behavioral emergencies involving children and young adults up to age 24 in our community. This free service is available simply by dialing 2-1-1. Help can be requested by anyone with the individual at the time of the crisis – parents, caregivers, family members, school personnel, first responders, etc. The response team arrives within an hour or less. Services include evaluation and assessment, development of safety or crisis plans, providing or facilitating stabilization services, supportive crisis counseling, education, development of coping skills, and linkage to appropriate resources. Visit the 2-1-1 website for more information. Please contact 911 in the event of a true medical emergency.