Library offering kinship care classes

Kinship care is on the rise. Our nation’s opioid epidemic has left many parents unable to care for their children, and grandparents and other family members are stepping into the gap. Add those numbers to family members caring for relatives’ children for other reasons, and the results are staggering. In Ohio, more than 100,000 grandparents were raising grandchildren in 2016.

These “kinship families” often face obstacles as they try to resolve custody issues and navigate the legal system. Financial strain is a frequent occurrence. Kinship families rarely receive financial benefits.

The children are likely to experience emotional difficulties. Caregivers, who must adjust to the parenting role at home and school may feel isolated and like they are the only ones going through this. They might be afraid to ask for help or unsure where to turn.

In response, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library will partner with local organizations to present a kinship care series to connect these kinship families with information and support.

Jan. 29 – Legal Information – A local attorney will discuss legal issues related to caring for children including custody, legal forms and available resources.

Feb. 12 – Emotional/Behavioral Well-Being – Children living in families experiencing substance abuse problems often experience trauma that can result in emotional and behavioral issues. Mental health professionals will discuss these issues and what resources are available for caregivers and children in Seneca County.

Feb. 26 – Education: Back to School – It can be difficult to navigate today’s educational system – homework, conferences, curriculum and technology. Staff from Tiffin City Schools and Tiffin-Seneca Public Library will answer questions and share strategies to make this easier for kinship caregivers.

March 12 – Financial Resources – Providing for grandchildren can be an unexpected financial burden. Staff from Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services will discuss financial assistance and other available resources.

To make it easier for caregivers to take part in these programs, supervised activities will be available in the Junior Library for preschool age and older children. Infants, children in diapers, or those unable to use the restroom without assistance will remain with their caregivers. A dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the programs starts at 6:30.

All events will be in the Frost Kalnow Room. The programs are free, and no registration is required.

For more information about these events and additional resources, visit the library’s web page at www.tiffinsenecalibrary.org or call (419) 447-3751.

Trinity Lescallett is adult services manager at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.