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Family Resilience Fund: Supporting Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Caregivers

Adoption Network Cleveland’s Family Resilience Fund was created to support vulnerable families. The fund provides financial assistance to adoptive parents, foster parents, kinship caregivers, and parents who themselves were formerly in foster care during their youth. This fund was created to aid families in weathering periods of financial instability, allowing them to prioritize creating a loving, stable, and consistent home for the children in their care.

The Family Resilience Fund provides short-term rent or mortgage assistance, utility (electric, gas, water, sewer) assistance, food assistance, work-related clothing, work-related transportation, licensed child-care for work purposes, and other emergency assistance. To be eligible for assistance, you must be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien, a resident of Cuyahoga County, living with at least one minor child, pregnant, or the non-custodial parent of a child, and the family’s monthly income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level guidelines, including liquid assets.

There are multiple circumstances in which a caregiver would utilize the Family Resilience Fund, including but not limited to loss of employment, long-term unemployment, recent loss of a spouse, separation or divorce, starting a new job and being unable to cover child-care, risk of eviction, emergency or unexpected expenses, long-term or chronic illness, or unexpectedly caring for minor relatives.

The Family Resilience Fund can be especially impactful for kinship families. Kinship care refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or a non-relative adult who has a long-standing relationship or bond with the child, has taken over the full-time, substitute care of a child whose parents are unable to do so. Kinship caregivers often accept placement of children who have experienced difficult, traumatic circumstances that have impacted them emotionally and developmentally with little time to prepare and limited resources available to accommodate the financial strain.

Kinship families display incredible strength and resilience, often overcoming significant challenges. These caregivers show unwavering dedication to providing a nurturing environment for their children, despite often facing obstacles in accessing resources such as quality education, healthcare, safe neighborhoods, transportation, and economic stability. The majority of support dollars for our Family Resilience Fund are granted through the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives. We are honored to support these remarkable families through the Family Resilience Fund. We recognize the unique challenges they face and are committed to providing the necessary resources to help them thrive.

The Family Resilience Fund recently assisted a great-grandmother caring for her five-year-old great-grandson who she describes as the center of her world. He struggles with many medical issues requiring multiple doctors' appointments each month which is a huge time commitment with costly medical bills. The Family Resilience Fund provided the great-grandmother with assistance for several costs: food, utilities, and mortgage payments, and connected her to other resources ranging from support groups to social gatherings, allowing her the opportunity to connect with peers navigating comparable scenarios. This assistance allows her to focus on what matters most: the health and well-being of her great-grandson.

Adoption Network Cleveland provides programs and services to connect and empower all members of the adoption triad (adoptees, birthparents, and adoptive parents); adoptive, kinship and foster families; youth in foster care; foster alumni; siblings and the professionals who serve our population. Recognizing that a unified voice is a strong voice, Adoption Network Cleveland promotes community awareness and social change by advocating for progressive policies and openness in adoption and foster care practice, policy and law.

If you would like to help us continue supporting adoptive, foster, and kinship caregivers, please consider becoming a member or making a donation today. Learn more about the Family Resilience Fund here.