Through our new partnership with the Brookdale Foundation Group, Family Friends is now offering free workshops/seminars to the community! These informational and supportive sessions meet on a monthly basis at various community venues to discuss an array of topics which benefit grandparents, aunts, cousins, uncles and other surrogate kin who are raising another relative’s child.
Family Friends, which has operated as a part of the Intergenerational Center at Temple University for nearly 30 years, assists formal and informal kinship caregivers in addition to other families citywide who have special needs and are raising a loved one between the ages of birth to 21 years old. Persons enrolled in Family Friends receive access to vital resources in addition to beneficial information and in-home/community supports. Family Friends also provides chaperoned respite trips and long-term matches with caring mentors aged 55+ who love children/youth and are thoroughly screened, trained and supervised. The goals of the Family Friends Program are to: reduce caregiver isolation and stress through the provision of respite care services and by building connections with other kinship caregivers; increase caregiver awareness of and access to services based on individual and family needs; empower caregivers through informal counseling, resource linkage and/or other program activities; and increase the ability of kinship caregivers to support children/youth with special needs.
Via the recent support of the Brookdale Foundation Group (which focuses on the development or expansion of outreach for grandparents and other kin who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of a child’s biological parents), we are now expanding our services through initiatives such as enhancing social-emotional supports via discussion opportunities for kinship families as we promote empowerment/awareness via education on topics impacting the lives of kinship caregiving families such as stress reduction, legal custody, benefits, advocacy, relationship building, etc. We will also offer a free, chaperoned respite trip for Family Friends R.A.P.P. kinship families as an additional means to alleviate stress, build social connections with persons in similar circumstances, and/or provide an opportunity for a break.
It is not a requirement to be enrolled in overall Family Friends programming in order to participate in the Family Friends R.A.P.P. workshops/seminars.