September 5, 2014

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina launches Kinship Care Initiative

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has launched a Kinship Care Initiative to support the growing number of relatives in South Carolina raising a loved one’s child that are not part of the state’s foster care system. Currently, more than 50,000 children are in public and private kinship care within the state. 

The launch of the Kinship Care Initiative also includes the release of a research brief to illustrate the challenges that kinship families face. Included in the brief are recommendations for South Carolina to improve services to these families. The research brief, authored by foundation Program Manager Tamara Peterson, addresses a broad range of issues and challenges that impact the well-being of these families. Research has shown that kinship care is a better alternative than placing youth in foster care and yields higher rates of permanency. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 annual report, extended family members and close family friends care for more than 2.7 million children in the United States, an increase of 18 percent over the past decade.

The foundation will host a Kinship Care Summit September 10 in Columbia as part of the initiative’s launch. The summit will feature a panel of industry leaders and participation by kinship care stakeholders from throughout the state and beyond. Representatives from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Duke Endowment will also be part of the discussion. The purpose of the summit is to bring together community stakeholders, identify key issues and develop strategies for better serving kinship families across South Carolina.

The Kinship Care Initiative is dedicated to enhancing individual and family well-being, which will be accomplished through the development of a Kinship Care Advisory Council, grant making and strategic partnerships with organizations that are committed to improving outcomes for kinship families. The foundation will also address public policy issues that affect the kinship care population. The goal is to increase permanency, stability and the livelihood of kinship families so children in South Carolina live in safe, loving homes.

Through the Kinship Care Initiative, the foundation will award multiple grants and significant dollars in 2015 to support programs and services for South Carolina’s kinship care providers and the children being served.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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