Relatives As Parents Program
A Program for Grandparents and Other Relatives Serving as Caregivers For Children
Who We Are
Several agencies concerned with the welfare of older adults, children and youth are coming together to begin the Relatives As Parents Program. Referred to as "RAPP", this program will work to help relatives who are raising children; especially as it relates to grandparents raising grandchildren.
Why We Exist
RAPP exists to let grandparents and relatives know that "You are not alone!" Problems that we encounter in everyday life can affect our families. More and more today, parents are unable to care for their children. Grandparents and other relatives frequently take on that responsibility in an effort to help.
In Kansas, as in the entire United States, there has been a steady increase in the number of children living with grandparents and other relatives.
The 2000 Census Bureau Report shows that 2.4 millions grandparents are taking on primary responsibility for their grandchildren's needs, many without a parent in the home. In Kansas, 17,873 grandparents reported that they are raising their grandchildren. This is not just a caregiver issue, however. According to 2000 Census data, in the United States, more than six million children, approximately 1 in 12 children, are living in households headed by grandparents or other relatives. Of these, close to 20% are in the formal foster care system. The remaining 80% and the caregivers who are responsible for them receive little assistance, and may encounter systems that make it difficult to access even basic services, such as health care and educational services. Kansas has 35,274 children living in households headed by grandparents or other relatives.
How We Can Help
The RAPP Initiative in Kansas offers:
- Support Groups -
RAPP offers grandparents and other relatives raising children the opportunity to SHARE their experiences, to UNDERSTAND the children's special needs, and to LEARN how and where to seek Community Resources.
- Referrals to Community Resources such as:
- Legal Services
- Financial Assistance
- Medical Assistance
- Day Care
- Emergency Foods
- Housing Assistance
- Recreational activities for children
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Kansas Relatives As Parents Program is to identify and support issues and needs of kinship caregiving, especially as it relates to grandparents raising grandchildren.
Is there a cost to participate?
There is no charge to grandparents and relatives to participate in RAPP.
For further information, please contact:
Grandparents as Parents Issues:
- AARP Grandparent Information Center - Provides an extensive range of services including a listing of local support groups, newsletters, and useful publications. For more information, go to: http://www.aarp.org/families/grandparents/gic/a2004-01-16-grandparentsinfocenter.html.
- Brookdale Foundation Group - The Brookdale Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) provides seed grants to support local and state agencies serving grandparents and other kin who have become the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. For more information, go to: http://www.brookdalefoundation.org/relativesasparents.html.
- Extension Services of America - http://www.uwex.edu/ces/gprg/gprg.html.
- Generations United - Offers information and advocacy relating to grandparent caregivers plus a very good biennial conference. Fact sheets are also available about grandparents and other relatives raising children. For more information, go to: http://www.gu.org.
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Grief - By Ron Huxley - Articles and newsletters for Grandparents raising grandchildren. For more information, go to: http://parentingtoolbox.com/gp.html.
- Grandparents Resource Center - Helps families to negotiate with the system to re-connect children in foster care with their biological families. For more information, go to: http://grc4usa.org.
- GrandsPlace - Provides information for Grandparents and Special Others Raising Children. For more information, go to: http://www.grandsplace.org.
- National Alliance for Caregiving - Connects families with information on caregiver resources and local services. For more information, go to: http://www.caregiving.org.
- KINship Information Network - Provides informational and emotional support for grandparents and other relatives raising children.
- National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights - Advocates and lobbies for legislative changes to support grandparents. http://www.grandparentsforchildren.org/
- Grand Parent Again – Information for grandparents raising grandchildren. http://www.grandparentagain.com/
Children and Relative Caregiver Issues
- The Foster Parent Community homepage - Articles and resources for foster parents. http://www.fosterparents.com.
- Child Welfare League of America - In addition to their other services, CWLA offers an annual national conference that focuses exclusively on kin care programs and issues. For more information, go to: http://www.cwla.org.
- Children's Defense Fund - CDF provides a strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. They also work with issues related to relatives as parents. For more information, go to: http://www.childrensdefense.org.
- Kansas Children's Service League - Kansas Children's Service League (KCSL) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving children and families, with offices and affiliates throughout Kansas. For more information, go to: http://www.kcsl.org.
- Children’s Mercy Hospital – Family Friends Program - The Family Friends program provides support and resources to grandparents who are parenting grandchildren. http://www.childrens-mercy.org/MSO/dept/default.asp
- Kansas Department of Social & Rehabilitation Services - Their mission
is to protect children and promote adult self-sufficiency. Their visions is
partnering to connect Kansans with supports and services to improve lives. They provide financial and medical assistance to eligible children and families in Kansas. For more information, go to http://www.srskansas.org/services.htm
- National Adoption Center - The Center works with social workers and other adoption professionals to bring children and families together. For more information, go to: http://www.adopt.org.
- The Foundation for Grandparenting - A non-profit organization dedicated to supporting grandparents. http://www.grandparenting.org/
Legal and Financial Assistance
- AARP Tax Aide Program - Useful if a tax burden has changed after a change in status of a dependent. Local Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs also provide free tax assistance to older adults of call the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or http://www.aarp.org/taxaide
- Center on Children and Law - American Bar Association. For more information, go to: http://www.abanet.org/child/home.html.
- Kansas Legal Services - The Kansas Department on Aging has contracted with Kansas Legal Services to publish a quarterly newsletter on legislation and legal issues that affect grandparents raising grandchildren. The first newsletter was recently distributed to agencies collaborating with the Relatives As Parents Program in Kansas. You can go to http://www.kansaslegalservices.org and click on publications to view the newsletter.
- Lawyer Referral Directory Service - American Bar Association - Ask for the telephone number of your local lawyer referral service. For more information, go to: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/contact.html.