• September 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 8

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Kinship Caregivers as Teachers

The placement of children with kinship caregivers has increased in recent years, and the emphasis of child welfare agencies' support for kinship caregivers has generally focused on safety, permanency, and well-being. A recent study with 83 kin caring for 188 children explored the benefits of also providing early childhood education support and services for kinship caregivers.

The Kin as Teachers (KAT) program, a modified version of the Parents as Teachers program, uses four types of interventions: home visits, developmental screening, case management, and support group meetings. KAT addresses parenting knowledge and practices, the recognition of developmental delays, and child abuse and neglect prevention. It also assists with school readiness and ensuring that the educational needs of children are met. In the current study, participants were enrolled for 24 months in KAT, and caregivers completed pretest and posttest measures. Findings indicated that KAT participation improved the age-appropriate family environment and resulted in an increase in caregivers' knowledge of child development.

"Kin as Teachers: An Early Childhood Education and Support Intervention for Kinship Families," by Kerry Littlewood, Anne Strozier, and Danielle Whittington, Child and Youth Services Review, 38, 2014, is available for purchase via the publisher's website:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740913003824

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