Resources are available for family members raising a relative's children.

In Ohio, 99,877 grandparents are caring for their grandchildren. In recognition of their efforts, and those of other family members who step in to raise children when their own parents cannot, September is designated as Kinship Caregiver Awareness Month. The job, while vitally important, isn’t always easy.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has created an online resource for kinship caregivers. The website offers information about applying for government services such as food assistance and specialized legal help. It also addresses “red flags” like failing grades and discipline problems, which may indicate that children are struggling to adjust to the many changes in their lives. The site also suggests places caregivers can go for emotional and behavioral help for the youth in their care.

Kinship caregivers looking for support for themselves should look into the Ohio Grandparent/Kinship Coalition. The organization works to make the process of serving as a kinship caregiver easier.

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