The Children's Home Network -KIN-TECH™ Kinship Navigation Model has been developed over the last 20 years and has been informed through practice, research and evaluation along side Kinship caregivers. Our model approach is currently under review by the California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.
CHN's KIN-TECH™ Kinship Navigation model of centralized intake and referral services, intensive in-home wrap around services, advocacy, community collaboration and support groups works in both informal (family arranged) and formal (child welfare involved) kinship placements.
RESULTS IMPACTING COMMUNITIES
CHN's "5 year evaluation of family support and case management for informal families" (2015) article in the Children and Services Review conducted by Dr. Kerry Littlewood reported:
100% of caregivers did not relinquish custody to the child welfare system
99% of children at one-year follow up did not enter licensed foster care due to subsequent abuse or neglect
Family driven intensive in-home services demonstrated statistically significant improvements on all items of Dunst Family Support Scale and Family Needs Scale between pre and post tests.
During the 5 year evaluation CHN's Kinship Navigation program served 2965 participants (1732 children and 1233 adults).
IMPACTING INFORMAL (PREVENTION) AND FORMAL (DEPENDENCY) FAMILIES
The KIN-TECH™ demonstration project (2012-2016) was selected to be one of the seven national sites funded under the federal Fostering Connections grants under the direction of the Administration on Children and Families. CLICK HERE FOR FINAL EVALUATION RESULTS.
INNOVATIONS IMPACTING COMMUNITIES
CHN's rigorously tested new innovative interventions through a randomized control trial designed within a community setting.
In 2012, the KIN-TECH™ study sample was stratified or grouped prior to randomization based on two requirements specified in the County Match Funding agreement, including 1) County of Residence [Hillsborough or Pinellas] and 2) Involvement with the Child Welfare System. No statistically significant differences were found at baseline between counties in any SES variables, including family income, race or education.
In 2012, Florida did not license relative caregivers, which meant that relatives were not eligible for IV-E funding regardless of their involvement with the child welfare system. This is different than many other states who license relatives. Again, no statistically significant differences existed at baseline on SES variables between those caregivers of children identified as involved in the child welfare system or those children who had no system involvement.
Utilizing a different sampling approach to test the placement stability for each group compared to other outcomes we investigated. Through a data sharing agreement with the Florida Department of Children and Families, we were able to track placement stability over time. Because it was not feasible and required a large number of workforce hours to track 1551 enrolled caregivers’ children in the Florida administrative child welfare database, we randomly selected 60 from each group, removed any identifying information and had our partner with the Department of Children and Families track and share this information with the evaluation team. Again, to test the placement stability for each group in the KIN-TECH™ study, the evaluation randomly selected 60 children in each study group to be collected by the Florida Department of Children and Families at 12, 24 and 36 months post intervention.
For this contrast, 60 participants were randomly selected from each group, allowing for equal allocation to intervention and comparison groups. For this contrast, when we ran a repeated measures analysis of variance we found statistical differences between each group, the usual care, kinship standard care, and the KIN-TECH™ full model. Children in the usual care, child welfare only group were more likely to experience placement instability.
CHN KIN-TECH™ KINSHIP NAVIGATOR MODEL -
Many circumstances result in the decision of non-parental relatives, mostly older women, caring for their younger kin (Kinship Care). Child maltreatment, parental substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness, teenage pregnancies, and extreme poverty are major contributors to kinship care. The impact of these social problems on the family system is often devastating and in turn forces families into making difficult decisions, such as living in multi-generational homes or taking on the responsibility of raising a relative’s child. Custody options exist for kinship families based on the family’s relationship with the child welfare system, including formal and informal types of care. READ FULL FLORIDA BRIEF
OUTCOMES IMPACTING TANF ENROLLMENT
In a timely public policy report circulated in May 2012 by The Annie E. Casey Founda-tion, titled Stepping Up for Kids—What Government and Communities Should do to Support Kinship Families , we find the majority of kinship caregivers are not receiving the financial help for which they are eligible; this includes the use of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) for kinship families. As reported, “Less than 12 percent of kinship families receive TANF support, even though nearly 100 percent of the children in these families are eligible.” Many relative caregivers are simply unaware of these and other benefits or, in some cases, confront a perceived stigma that surrounds accessing government resources. KIN-TECH™ innovations led to compelling impact and significant increases as a result of the peer to peer assistance to apply for eligible benefits and services and administered in the home of a relative with a laptop computer for kin families in critical need of financial assistance to care for a relative child.