• April 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 2

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Site Visit: Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model

In 2012, the Children's Bureau awarded seven 3-year grants for the Family Connections Grants: Child Welfare/TANF Collaboration in Kinship Navigation Programs cluster. Kinship navigator programs support connections between family members and children and youth who are in, or at risk of entering, foster care by helping kin caregivers identify and access appropriate and meaningful services. The Children's Home, Inc. (CHI) in Tampa, FL, and its partners received an award to implement the Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model (KIN-Tech).

The following are CHI's key partners for this project:

  • Dr. Kerry Littlewood of AAJ Research and Evaluation (the evaluator)
  • Florida Department of Children and Families, Division of Economic Self Sufficiency
  • Eckerd Community Alternatives
  • Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
  • Children's Board of Hillsborough County
  • Family Enrichment Center
  • Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
  • REACHUP, Inc.
  • St. Anthony Hospital Community Parish Nursing Program
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Child Protective Investigations Division
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protection Investigation Division
  • Operation PAR, Inc.

This project includes three primary components:

  • Peer-to-peer navigation: Kinship navigators who are grandparents or other relatives hired by CHI connect kin caregivers to resources and services and help them navigate the various systems (e.g., child welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], education).
  • One-e-App: This web-based system allows kin caregivers to enter information about their situations and determines their benefit eligibility. Automating this process allows the kinship navigators to focus more of their time on building relationships and providing emotional support. 
  • Interdisciplinary Team: The team, which features professionals from various disciplines, works with high-risk families who have multiple needs. It provides a collaborative infrastructure that allows service providers to work together to solve problems and connect kin caregivers to the resources and services they need. These teams also give kin caregivers opportunities to speak with experts working together for a common purpose.

The project analyzed the cost effectiveness of its work, and preliminary results indicate that the project is a low-cost program that delivers a high return on investment. The final cost analysis will be available with the final project report.

For more information, contact Larry Cooper, L.C.S.W., project director, at Lcooper@childrenshome.org. The full site visit report for this project will soon be available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/funding/funding-sources/federal-funding/cb-funding/cbreports/.

The Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model is funded by the Children's Bureau (Award 90CF0050). This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from site visits made on behalf of the Children's Bureau.
 

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