About the Kinship Caregiver Coalition (KCC)

History

In 1996, community partners contacted the Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) and suggested that the needs of grandparents raising grandchildren be explored. One partnering agency had observed a significant increase in the number of grandparents seeking services at their organization who were primary caretakers of their grandchildren.

Kinship Caregivers learn internet safety and staying healthy while caring for their grandchildren. Kinship Caregivers learn internet safety and staying healthy while caring for their grandchildren.

The CHC invited a group of fourteen health and social service organizations serving Montgomery County (Dayton), Ohio to meet and discuss the issues and problems facings these grandparents. The group formed a coalition, the Grandparents/Grandchildren Initiative (GP/GCI), to share information and discuss services currently provided to grandparents and the children in their care. With the support and encouragement of the coalition, the CHC submitted a grant proposal to the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for program funding, and was awarded a four-year Community Integrated Services System grant on October 1, 1997. The program goals were:

a) to increase knowledge and awareness of kinship families and their needs among the education, health, housing, and human/social service providers in the Dayton area

b) to develop more responsive public policy to address special concerns of the kinship families in the community.

The coalition has grown to over forty health and social services agencies that meet quarterly and discuss issues and problems facing kinship caregivers. Several years ago the coalition changed its name from GP/GCI to the Kinship Caregiver Coalition (KCC). Several provider agencies felt the former name of the coalition was misleading by suggesting only grandparents raising grandchildren were provided services. The coalition remains responsive to all kinship caregivers and their issues. The coalition currently has three standing committees: Education, Policy and HB 130 Task Force.

The Ohio Department of Aging was instrumental is supporting this effort in Ohio, funding the Kinship Navigator Program in Montgomery County for two years. Ongoing support for the program is provided through Children Services Board in Montgomery County and the Center for Healthy Communities.

For more information about the KCC, contact Dionne Simmons, Kinship Caregiver Program Director, at dionne.henderson@wright.edu or (937) 775-8249.