Our kinship providers are family members or people with established kin-like relationships who volunteer or agree to stand up to care for children or youth who have been determined to be in current or impending danger with their parent(s) or caregiver(s). Kin are relatives or others who have a “family-like” relationship with the child and who are willing to nurture and protect the child, in a way that takes into account cultural values and promotes continuity of significant relationships in the child’s life.
Denver County always looks to first place a child with a kinship care provider when a child or youth is in need of out-of-home placement. We utilize use kinship care primarily for the following reasons:
- Maintain children within their families to help ensure meaningful emotional and cultural support.
- Minimize the trauma of out-of-home placement.
- Support and strengthen families' ability to protect their children and to provide a safe and stable home.
Experience has shown that children in kinship care do better at coping with the challenges of being removed from their homes, and that they are successfully reunited with their parents sooner than if they were moved to another type of placement.
Denver County’s Kinship Assessment, Support and Navigation Program
The Kinship Assessment, Support and Navigation Program at Denver Human Services offers a variety of services for kin who are raising children other than their own. These include:
Assessment and Case Management
- Completion of all required background checks for each adult (18 years old or older) in the home prior to placement
- Fingerprint-based CBI and FBI background check for each adult in the home
- Kinship Support Needs Assessment
- A family assessment using the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) or the Department’s modified SAFE.
- Support to the family through home visits and an ongoing assessment of the family's needs
- Being available when needs or concerns arise
- Linking the family to other kinship families in the community for support and recognition
- Offering the family resources in areas of need
- Participation in family engagement meetings (VOICES)
- Attending court with kinship providers when requested
The C.A.R.E. Center Program was developed in December 2015 as a full service resource center at Denver County’s Castro Building to provide services, programming, education and crisis intervention. The program develops strong relationships with community partners to engage and strengthen families.
The C.A.R.E. Center Hours
Monday, Friday and Saturday
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Community resources
- Legal Assistance
- Court systems
- Department of Human Services
- Foster care certification process
- Direct Financial Assistance
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) navigation to expedite access to financial, food and Medicaid benefits
- Kinship care orientation
- Kinship care certification classes
- Ongoing workshops and training provided in collaboration with community partners throughout the metro area on topics including
- Trauma-informed practice
- Nutritional cooking classes
- Guardianship workshops
- Legal workshops
- Support groups
(working with families to find relatives to help care for their children and youth)
- Diligent search for viable relatives or other connections for children or youth
- Family engagement to identify whether there are kin available and willing to provide care or additional support for the child or youth
- Creation of genograms (a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals)
- Guidance and support for kin who are providing supervised visitation between the children and youth in their care and their parent(s) or caregiver(s)
- Transportation to and from visitation
Resource and Computer Lab (C.A.R.E. Center)
- Access to computers, internet, printer, parent portals and Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK)
- Kinship-specific resource information
If you would like more information about kinship care in Denver County, please call our Kinship Care Information line at 720-944-4546.
For information about kinship-specific training, contact Helen Onyeali at 720-944-6187.