New Kinship Navigation Program Bridges the Gap for Caregivers

Parenting is no easy task, and parenting a second time can be even more difficult. More and more children are being raised by their grandparents and other relatives, both inside and outside of the child welfare system. Typically, such responsibility is met with little to no outside support for the caregiver in navigating the needs of the child in their care.

To help bridge the gap between caregivers and community supports, The Family Resource Center of Central New Hampshire, in partnership with the New Hampshire Children’s Trust, has launched a new community program, Kinship Navigation. This program is foundational in providing free, confidential services for emotional support, education, and guidance to relative caregivers and offers information, referrals, and follow-up services to promote independence and enhance the quality of life of the families served.

“In addition to the outside resources we provide, one really important aspect of this program is the monthly support group. We encourage relative caregivers to connect to talk about struggles, celebrate successes, and bring validation and encouragement in this shared experience,” said Melissa Shadden-Cyr, Kinship Navigator. The support group meets the last Monday of every month from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm via Zoom, and is co-facilitated by Tricia Eisner, Kinship Navigator from the Greater Tilton Area Family Resource Center.

Since its launch, the Kinship Navigation Program has enrolled and supported fifteen grandparents and other relative caregivers who are raising a child in the absence of the biological parent, and is continuing to accept new referrals.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please contact 603-581-1576 or email melissa.shadden-cyr@lrcs.org.