How VKAP Can Help Families

Vermont Kin As Parents…

  • Offers information about resources available to kinship families and makes referrals to agencies as needed.
  • Helps families understand and navigate the different systems in which they may be involved, including courts, Department of Children and Families, mental health and substance abuse agencies.
  • Collaborates with state and private agencies about specific family needs.
  • Meets with families and those supporting them to develop supports the families need.
  • Offers small respite grants to families as funding is available; partners with local Agencies on Aging who may have funds available to those 55 and older.
  • Helps communities develop kinship support groups, which can be a lifeline for relatives and the children they are raising, and holds meetings for support group leaders.
  • Offers an annual kinship conference for caregivers and those who work with them.
  • Has an annual picnic for kinship caregivers and the children they are raising.
  • Publishes a quarterly newsletter, VKAP Voices, which updates families and professionals about what is happening in the state and nationally and includes kinship stories and information on resources.
  • Testifies before the Legislature on bills that affect the daily lives of families and works to pass those bills
  • Meets regularly with the DCF Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners to discuss kinship issues and ways to address them
  • Through national and state connections, is aware of changing legislation impacting kinship families, offers the kin perspective whenever possible, and informs caregivers of the changes.

VKAP Kinship Navigator Program Franklin/Grand Isle Counties

What we can do:

Educate Kinship Caregivers about resources and supports.
Directly refer Kinship Caregivers to appropriate services.
Help establish and maintain relationships between Kinship Caregivers and their formal supports.
Advocate for services and resources for Kinship Caregivers.
Bring the voice of Kinship Care Families to community collaborative meetings.

For more information contact:

Melanie Steeneck, Kinship Navigator
Melanies.kin@comcast.net
802-871-0526