Wilton Manors, Florida -- Broward Health joined its Kinship Care partners to celebrate Broward County residents who have stepped in to serve as guardians for a relative or family friend. On Sept. 19, the caregivers gathered at Kids In Distress (KID) in Wilton Manors, where they received gift baskets from seven Kinship sponsors, nutritious food donated by Feeding South Florida and school supplies donated to Children’s Services Council of Broward County.
“September is National Kinship Care Month,” said Mark Dhooge, President and CEO of KID. “We are honored to work with hundreds of children throughout our South Florida community who are cared for by their grandparents, aunts, uncles and even siblings.”
One of those aunts is Sherri Lewis, 53, of Lauderhill. When her younger sister unexpectedly died last fall, Lewis became a parent to a 14-year-old girl seemingly overnight, she said. “Broward Health helped me with my niece’s needs -- physically, mentally, emotionally. I could give her love but there were some things [my niece] needed as a teenager to help her through this process. And, for them to be with me every step of the way, to give her everything she needed, I can never tell them how much that helped me.”
The Kinship Cares Initiative at Broward Health Community Health Services is one of many wraparound services the center offers.
“We provide everything from health screenings to education on chronic illness,” said Heather Woolf, RN, vice president of ambulatory services at Broward Health. “Most importantly, we help families with kinship children obtain health insurance to enable them to get the care that they need.”
Other Kinship partners, like KID, offer invaluable social services, said Dhooge. “Kinship care takes tremendous work, determination and support and we are humbled to be a supportive voice and provide resources to these dedicated folks.”
In recognition of National Kinship Care Month, the seven organizations that came together on Sept. 19, continue to work in sync to educate, support and encourage their Kinship members. The agencies include: Broward Health Community Health Services, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Harmony Development Center, Kids In Distress, Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Memorial Healthcare System and Mental Health America.
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ABOUT KIDS IN DISTRESS (KID, Inc.)
Kids In Distress (KID) is a licensed nationally accredited agency working for prevention of child abuse, preservation of the family, and care and treatment of abused and/or neglected children. KID serves more than 20,000 children and families through programs that focus on prevention, intervention, foster care, education, and family counseling. KID partners with corporations, organizations, municipalities, schools, and individuals to support its mission and expand services throughout South Florida. For more information about Kids In Distress, please visit http://www.kidinc.org or Facebook.com/KidsInDistress. Follow us on Instagram or Twitter @kidsindistress.