D3: [CANCELLED] It’s All Relative: Assessing and Responding to Kinship Caregivers’ Needs

Area of Focus: Organizational and Service Delivery Innovations
Room Location: N/A

Across the nation’s child welfare system, the rate of relatives stepping up to provide kinship care for children removed from their parents is growing. Research has shown that this care minimizes trauma related to the removal and improves child well-being. But sustaining this responsibility isn’t possible without intentional support. To maintain this family connection and improve children’s health-related outcomes, kinship caregivers need connections to resources that meet their own health, housing, education, income, and social connection needs.

More and more kinship caregivers are stepping into these roles without prior foster care training and minimal financial support. The need for greater resources to help emerging foster families navigate a complex system is critical. Wellpoint Care Network has worked for several years to meet this need through their Foster and Kinship Navigation program to help relatives understand the child welfare system and access resources vital to meeting the needs of children in their care. Recently, the program has partnered with a Milwaukee resource network to provide targeted resources based on responses to a social determinant of health screen using the Unite Us platform. Using this platform allows the team to coordinate with stakeholders while tracking engagement in referred care.

This presentation will review the program’s process for assessing, developing, and tracking a care plan that addresses the social determinants of health needs of relative caregivers. The process can be replicated for care teams in a variety of settings and will demonstrate how intentional tracking of social care referrals ensures that people receive the care they need when they need it most.

Learning Objectives

  • Review a process for assessing, developing, and tracking a care plan that addresses people’s social determinants of health needs
  • Discuss how coordinated care is possible with deliberate relationship building across sectors


Jenny Keefe
Director of Family Services
Wellpoint Care Network