Tampa-based Children's Home receives $100,000 grant to grow Kinship program

The award will establish self-care support for grandparents and caregivers.

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click to enlarge The Kinship program offers support to grandparents or other relative caregivers. - Pixabay
The Kinship program offers support to grandparents or other relative caregivers.

The Aetna Foundation has awarded Tampa-based Children's Home Network a $100,000 grant. Part of the foundation's Cultivating Healthy Communities program, the award will help the Children's Home grow its own program: Kinship.

Serving six counties, including Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas, the Kinship program offers support to grandparents or other relative caregivers raising kids who aren't their own. The Children's Home connects participating families to resources and expands family support systems while reducing stress. 

The Aetna Foundation's 24-month grant ultimately gives the Children's Home the opportunity to establish self-care for Kinship grandparents and caregivers, "whose needs are often neglected due to their caregiver duties," according to the local nonprofit.

"Grandparents and caregivers are stepping in to raise children that would otherwise be placed into foster care. These grandparents are immediately overwhelmed and faced with obstacles and challenges that they don't know how to navigate. They wonder what's going to happen next, how do they keep the children safe, what are their rights and how should we handle certain situations. During these difficult times are when the Kinship program is there to offer support and guidance," said Larry Cooper, chief of intervention and preventative services for the Children's Home, in a statement.

In total, the Aetna Foundation presented more than $2 million in grants to 23 nonprofits that advance its mission of improving health on a community level.

Dr. Garth Graham, president of the foundation, added: "The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities. By identifying community-specific challenges, and unique ways to combat them, this year's grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute to the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity."

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