Dedicated resources for relative caregivers
Embrace Families, in partnership with Children’s Home Network, provides relative caregivers with the support and resources they need.
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
Financial Support Services
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).
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.
For More Information
Nurse Care Coordinators
One Hope United / Children’s Home Society – Seminole – Sabrina Beharie – email@example.com
Children’s Home Society – Orange & Gulf Coast – Gladys Perez – firstname.lastname@example.org
Behavioral Health Coordinators
Children’s Home Society – Seminole – Justin Colson, MA – email@example.com
One Hope United – Orange – Ashley Foster, MSW – firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s Home Society – Orange – Valencia Jordan, MA – email@example.com
Gulf Coast-Osceola – Amber Smith, LMHC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-Adoptions/Diversion – Orange, Osceola & Seminole – Julia Eusebio, MSW – email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Personal Support Services
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.
These advocates are current or previous relative caregivers, like you, and can help you navigate the complex child welfare system.
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.
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.
There are many resources available to help refine and learn new parenting skills. Ask your Caregiver Support Manager about trainings available through Embrace Families. NOTE: Your Caregiver Support Agency is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, or One Hope United (OHU).
“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.
Emotional Support Services
Our emotional support teams are available to you throughout this journey, so you can focus on meeting the emotional and physical needs of the children in your home. This specialized group of Embrace Families’ providers are dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of caregivers, and to assist you in navigating the complex system of care. While our emotional support services are completely voluntary, they are here to help when you need guidance from someone who has walked in your shoes. To find out more, contact one of the following:
Children’s Home Network
Children’s Home Network (CHN) is dedicated to improving lives and changing life stories. We unlock the potential of at-risk children and families by providing compassionate and effective services that create opportunities for success. CHN is fully committed to supporting children in permanent, family arrangements. The philosophy that permeates throughout the organization is that every child is lovable, capable and worthwhile. It is the job of the staff to help offer support that allows families to love and care for children and for children to thrive in a stable home. CHN believes that caregivers are caregivers, regardless if they are foster parents, biological parents or relative caregivers. Despite their unique features, they all need similar support and interventions to raise healthy and happy children.
Contact: Nikki Ludwig, email@example.com, 407.264.1727
Commission 127 offers family-focused emotional support through care communities providing meals, date nights, prayer, and regular check-ins to best care for the unique needs of your family. Also offered are regularly planned peer support groups, play dates, family gatherings, and practical trainings to strengthen parents and families, including support for singles and marriages. Whether a foster, adoptive, relative or bio family, our heart is to make sure you don’t feel alone in this journey.
Contact: Betsey Bell, MSW, firstname.lastname@example.org, 407.619.4047
FACT was founded by foster/adoptive/ kinship/non-relative caregivers who have decades of combined experience within the foster care system. Our main goal over the last 15 years has been to support and serve caregivers who care for our community’s children.
We understand, firsthand, the challenges and changes that come with the responsibility of caring for our children. Between our four family advocates, we have parented 37 permanent children of all ages. Our experience navigating through their trauma allows us to assist other families navigate needs that they are unable to anticipate. FACT family advocates continuously seek ways to ensure our families’ and children’s needs are met. We host events, trainings, lend a listening ear when needed, and offer guidance to parents who need help. Our team is quick to respond and find creative ways to solve issues or fulfill needs that pop up. We try to stay one step ahead in order to keep our families feeling supported and plugged in; and we enjoy doing it because it’s our passion.
Contact: Jerry Pitzer, email@example.com, 407.233.3288
One More Child
Caring for children is the adventure of a lifetime! We know that meeting the needs of children and teens going through tough times, working toward the goal of reunification with families, or being a newly reunified parent has challenges – and One More Child is ready to help!
At One More Child we have church and community partners walking alongside caregivers of all types to provide resources such as groceries, meals, household items, clothing, diapers, services like behavioral coaching, and resource location;
as well as household services such as mowing and laundry,
babysitting, prayer, encouragement and more.
Statewide in 2019, our Foster Care Program managed close to 600 foster homes in 52 of the 67 counties in Florida and made a transformative difference in the lives of more than 1,400 foster children.
Contact: Colleen Riddle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 407.506.3126