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Kinship families are part of all communities across California and kinship caregivers provide essential care and nurturing for their kinship children. Kinship families offer a tremendous opportunity for vulnerable children and youth to join a part of their extended family, when their immediate family is unable to care for them. United Ways of California’s new KinshipCareCA.org is a free, one-stop navigator to meet the immediate needs of kinship caregivers and foster parents, helping you locate nearby resources, access benefits, and/or receive general support via its online search feature and dedicated team of highly trained call specialists. The website is aimed to increase the your capacity to provide safe, stable, and nurturing homes for the children in your care.
Click to search an online glossary of commonly used Kinship terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Kinship Navigator Program? ?
The purpose of a Kinship Navigator program is to assist Kinship caregivers in learning about, finding, and using programs and services to meet the needs of the children they are raising and their own needs and to promote effective partnership among public and private agencies to Kinship families’ needs are being met.
This project intends to develop a system to assist Kinship families and service providers in navigating an array of resources programs and services through a comprehensive resource portal (website), and live help via voice, text, and chat.
The Kinship Website
Whom will the website serve?
The website will serve two main constituents: families (e.g. caregivers, bio-parents, youth, Transition Aged Youth (TAY), etc) and helpers (e.g. caseworkers and service providers that help families). Information will be presented specially for families with guided (canned) searches to help guide their interactions with the Kinship Navigator portal.
How will resources be segmented for families?
All visitors will be asked for their zip code (so that we can determine their county) and whether they are a family or caseworker (so that we can provide different search interfaces for both populations. s).
What’s “guided search”?
The Kinship Navigator site will house resources on a number of different topics (including “food”, “housing”, “legal”, and more). Visitors will be able to select prominent buttons that return search results on these topics. This will help avoid language barriers and typos, which can lead to misleading search results. Visitors will also be able to type in to search for the resources they are looking for.
How will visitors be tracked? How will that “tracked” information be used?
All Visitors and Users will be able to “save” pages for their Binders. Binders can be stored to a User’s Case (where it can be emailed or SMSed) or directly emailed/SMSed to an unauthenticated Visitor. Visitors that wish to SMS a Binder must first verify opt in to receive information via SMS. By looking at website analytics, we intend to track how long visitors spend on the website and what resources they are looking for. The intent of our website is to protect client privacy as much as possible, while being low-barrier so that families can find the information they need.
How will visitors connect with 211 operators?
All Visitors and Users will have pervasive access to Live Help via phone or SMS. These Visitors will be immediately connected with a United Way kinship/foster specialist. Visitors that wish to text with a specialist must first verify their SMS number
What’s a “resource”?
All nonprofit organizations and services that can assist families in navigating the kinship and foster systems are considered “resources”. This information is provided by 211 organization partners and all data are stored in a database that powers the Kinship Navigator site.