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“It Takes A Village, Support for Foster and Adoptive Families” – Public Affairs Series via RI & Cable Access TV
The Village for RI Foster and Adoptive Families announced today the creation of “It Takes A Village; Support for Foster and Adoptive Families,” the first in a series of 30-minute public information television programs focusing on the shared issues and needs of foster, kinship and adoptive families. The goal is to provide information and resources that will strengthen the foster and kinship caregiving community; both those who are currently involved and those interested in, providing a safe and stable home for children. The program host and interviewees are peer mentors who are also experienced resource parents; some are also leaders of local kinship and foster care support groups.
This public service program airs on PegRI, public, education and governmental access television, which focuses on creating community programming throughout the state, and will be carried on the Interconnect A statewide as well as the Providence/North Providence service area, with dates and times to be published on The Village RI facebook page and also shared on the website at a later date.
“This television series provides a new opportunity to provide education, information, resources and experiences that all new families face,” notes the Village for RI Foster and Adoptive Families Kinship Coordinator, Shannon Dos Santos. “We can now offer the kinship support group experience to more families.” Currently, there are close to 900 children living with approximately 660 kinship families in Rhode Island alone, according to DCYF data, which is 70% of all children in DCYF care.
Program moderator and host, Sue Babin, serves on the board of directors for The Village for RI Foster and Adoptive Families, has adopted one child as a kinship caregiver and is currently fostering another child, and guides the informal discussions. Guests interviewed for the first segment were: Kelley Fluette, Founder Member of The Village, current BOD member, and a foster, kinship and adoptive parent for over 17 years; Rachel Briggs, Kinship Family Caregiver for close to 10 years; and Laurie Tapozada, a Kinship Caregiver who works closely with the RI DCYF to support kinship caregivers and is also the Chairperson of the RI Kinship Council.
“We created this program as part of an outreach effort to share the personal experiences of foster and kinship families, as well as to let people know about the practical resources and community supports that are available in RI,” stated Ms. Babin, noting that nearby Massachusetts may have similar provisions. “We are also trying to recruit more families as foster parents or to provide kinship care to children who are unable to safely stay in their homes and to “Be An Anchor” in their lives.”
The first episode focused on the differences between foster and kinship care. Foster parents are DCYF’s major resource for children who need to be placed outside of their homes. Often foster parents are “Kinship” meaning relative caregivers such as grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, siblings, etc., or a person who has a prior relationship with the child in their care, such as a teacher, neighbor, friend of the family, (often referred to as “Fictive Kin”) etc. And sometimes children are placed with adults in RI who get a license to serve as foster parents.
The program also included information on various supports available to kinship families from the State as well as The Village and other community organizations.
Key topics to be included in additional segments of “It Takes A Village; Support for Foster and Adoptive Families,” will be: understanding the value of support groups, available community supports, specialized supports, financial planning, child safety, etc.
“It Takes A Village” began running in Massachusetts first. In RI, the first run date on 4/6.
Other dates are: Program # 1, Tuesday, 7:30pm, Thursday 7pm – Prov/N.Prov areas,Channel 18 & 38 4/6, 4/8; 4/13, 4/15; 4/20, 4/22 Friday 9am 4/9, 4/16, 4/23
TV 9 Linkhttp://cable9.dyndns.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/7604?channel=7
Also, once it runs on 4/6, it will be added to The Village website.
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ABOUT THE VILLAGE FOR RI FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
The Village was incorporated in March 2016 as RI’s only foster and adoptive family founded and governed support organization.
The needs of kinship caregivers are the central concern of the RI Statewide Kinship Advisory Council. This body brings together kinship families and representatives from the various organizations that serve kinship caregivers including community organizations, the relevant state departments, healthcare, legal, housing and education.
The advisory council was established to raise awareness of the contributions and support needs of kinship caregivers, share information, promote collaboration and unify advocacy efforts for kinship caregivers.
The Village for RI Foster and Adoptive Families
139 Ocean Ave, Cranston, RI 02905