New Resource for Kinship Caregivers Released by EMK Press

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Over 7.1 million grandchildren live with their grandparents and 4.7 million children live with "other relatives" with little to no support. This new resource helps families navigate the complexities of parenting kin.

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox is a much needed resource for families parenting a relative's children.

To grandmother's house we go is a vacation time for some children but a permanent living arrangement for others. With 7.1 million grandchildren living with their grandparents and 4.7 million children living with “other relatives,” according to the 2010 census, almost 12 million children in America today are being raised in kinship care. For many of these children, their grandparents and other kin will become their guardians, foster parents or even adoptive parents. Because these children have suffered the loss of their relationship with their mother and father, they often must work to overcome deep emotional feelings. At the same time, their kinship caregivers face financial, emotional and educational challenges in parenting these children. Because of the unique challenges these children and families face, The Kinship Parenting Toolbox has been created to help kinship caregivers find answers for their unique parenting journey.

“Having The Kinship Parenting Toolbox as my ‘go-to guide’ seven years ago would have saved me from a lot of confusion and stress,” said Jan Wagner, co-chair of Michigan State Wide Kinship Coalition and a grandparent raising her grandson. “Kinship caregivers have become very resourceful when it comes to researching information on what it takes to raise another family member’s child. Now, much of that knowledge can be gained in one book — The Kinship Parenting Toolbox.”

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox, offers kinship parents a useful tool and guide in their journey parenting the second time around. Containing articles from more than 70 contributors touched in a variety of ways by kinship care, including grandparents raising grandchildren, children raised by other relatives or family friends, social workers, therapists, kinship support organizations and others, The Kinship Parenting Toolbox provides a wide range of viewpoints on various topics.

“Written by other caregivers and those who work with kinship families, this book covers a variety of topics on the challenges you will face, as well as where to look for resources,” Wagner said.

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox is a 356-page guidebook for those raising kin. There’s information on advocating for yourself, navigating the emotions and sharing parenting when your children can’t, figuring out how to make things work on a retirement income, understanding the different legal arrangements available to kinship providers, helpful ways to transition children and much more. The Kinship Parenting Toolbox is an all-inclusive guide to kinship care. Woven between the nuts and bolts articles about kinship care giving are stories from those who have lived the experience — kinship parents, those who grew up in kinship care, and caseworkers and support people who have learned from the daily interactions with caring, humble people who raise children from broken families.

“These families step up to the plate to care for their kin because they love them and don’t want to see them enter foster care or face other challenges,” Phagan-Hansel said. “However, there are some unique challenges that these families often face; something I have witnessed firsthand in my own extended family.”

After releasing The Foster Parenting Toolbox in 2012, Phagan-Hansel teamed up with EMK Press again to create a support resource for a unique demographic of today’s parents. Committed to helping hurting and struggling families, The Kinship Parenting Toolbox is another way families can find the support they need in difficult parenting moments.

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox is available online at For review copies or to interview the editor and those who entered submissions, contact EMK Press Publisher Carrie Kitze at 732-469-7544.

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Carrie Kitze
EMK Press
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