House Children and Youth Committee Chairman Karen Boback (Lackawanna/ Luzerne/Wyoming) has announced the creation of a new hotline to help grandparents raising grandchildren access and better understand the resources and programs available to them.
The KinConnector hotline is aimed for families in kinship care situations, including grandparents raising their grandchildren because of the opioid crisis.
“As a result of the opioid crisis, thousands of grandparents are facing the daunting task of caring for their grandchildren while navigating courtrooms and complex child welfare systems, often with little support,” Boback said. “This new hotline will give them somewhere to turn to help navigate all the complexities of care so they can provide the best possible support and protection to the children.”
KinConnector was established through Act 89 of 2018. Boback was a co-sponsor of the legislation, which established a kinship navigator program for Pennsylvania.
The Bair Foundation was selected as the kinship navigator through a competitive procurement overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The foundation will work with kinship care families to help them access resources and supports and connect with families in similar situations across Pennsylvania.
“An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania,” said Boback. “We must do everything we can to help and assist our senior citizens who raise and provide for their grandchildren.”
KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). The KinConnector helpline is staffed by social service professionals prepared to help families understand and access resources access local, state and federal resources.
As outlined in Act 89, a KinConnector website of resources will also be available in the near future.