Kinship care can refer to grandparents, aunts/uncles, extended relatives, and family friends who are caring full-time for children who's parents can no longer care for them due to substance use/addiction, incarceration, death, or other circumstances. Kinship care helps protect children and maintains family bonds, cultural connections, and a sense of community. In response to feedback that kinship caregivers need support in talking to youth about parental substance use and overdose, NYS OASAS and the NYS Kinship Navigator developed The Kinship Care Toolkit to assist kinship caregivers in starting these difficult conversations.
The toolkit provides information on subjects such as grief, identifying red-flag behavior in youth, having age-appropriate discussions and self-care for kinship care providers. The toolkit also includes interactive exercises for children in kinship care to help express their feelings and promote positive thinking and self-image.
Information for Kinship Caregivers
Helpful tips and guides to support kinship caregivers
It's important to talk at every age about the risks of underage drug and alcohol use. Children who come from homes in which parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to start using drugs earlier in their lives and become addicted more quickly than peers from homes without substance abuse.
Exercises for Children in Kinship Care
Positive thinking and gratitude exercises for kids and teens in kinship care.