NYSOFA, NYS Kinship Navigator Share Resources for Older New Yorkers
The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and the NYS Kinship Navigator have partnered to provide resources and referrals for area agencies on aging that are working with, or identify older adults in kinship care arrangements.
The agencies also co-produced a webinar entitled Kinship Care: Rights and Resources, which is available at https://aging.ny.gov/ProvidersandStaff/TrainingResources/TrainingResources.cfm.
Kinship care refers to the 300,000 plus children in New York State who are living with grandparents, other relatives, or family friends. More than 95 percent of these children are not in foster care, but are cared for privately. The average age of these caregivers is 56 years, with 39 percent age 60 or older.
A State University of New York at Albany study of five upstate counties found that close to 40 percent of kinship caregivers were living in poverty, with more than a third exhibiting clinical levels of stress.
The NYS Kinship Navigator is the only statewide resource serving kinship families. It provides vital assistance to caregivers in all 62 counties, and provides:
- A helpline and website (877-454-6463; www.nysnavigator.org) that offer information, referrals, advocacy, and education.
- Help for caregivers to obtain special public assistance grants and other services.
- Assistance to connect caregivers to specialized services in their own communities.
- Presentations to aging network service providers and other stakeholders about its services and how to assist kinship care led families.
The NYS Kinship Navigator seeks to reach caregivers who come in contact with aging services, and is interested in working with local area offices on aging in developing a referral process that ensures that families are helped by Kinship Navigator specialists.
For more information, please visit the NYSOFA website, or the NYS Kinship Navigator website.