“Caregiving is a difficult journey, don’t travel alone.”
You probably know someone, or you yourself were raised by grandparents an aunt, or family friend. You may be familiar with an adult who took a child into their home. You probably know or identify with someone who has given care at home, to a person with a life limiting illness or debility. This is called kinship care – loved ones caring for a child or elderly person when the parents, or they themselves, are unable to do so.
The number of children being raised by extended family is growing 6 times faster than the general population. In the High Country and many other areas of the United States, the opioid crisis, along with many other contributing factors has created a void of forever homes available to children. Kinship care keeps children out of foster care and group homes. Remaining with families that love them makes all the difference in their tomorrow. Studies have proven that children raised by families have better long term outcomes. They also have different challenges than kids in traditional home settings.
Many times children in kinship homes are faced with trauma from abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Kinship caregivers take on a life altering task themselves, as many of them are older and had not planned on raising more children.
Many kinship families do not understand the legal system or services available to them from the community and government. Sometimes they receive conflicting or inaccurate messages and information about the help that is available to them.
Children raised by family adjust much better than children raised in the foster care system, these families need your help!
Ironically the number of loved ones caring for a person with debility or life-limiting illness is also on the rise. “More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any one given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing direct care for their loved one.
The typical family caregiver is a 49-year old woman caring for her widowed 70 year old mother. She is married and employed. Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women. More than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years of age living with them. 1.4 million Children ages 8 to 18 provide care for an adult relative; 72% are caring for a parent or grandparent; and 64% live in the same house as their care recipients.”
— National Alliance for Caregiving
High Country Caregivers is a stand-alone not for profit organization dedicated to relatives, respite, and resources for kinship caregivers, and relatives caring for loved ones with life- limiting illnesses and debility. In North Carolina 225,493 children live with grandparents or a relative that isn’t their biological parent. 177, 662 of them live with their grandparents. Most of them live with their grandparents to avoid being placed in the foster care system. The majority of these children are primarily raised by their grandmothers. The opioid crisis in the high country has left many children abused, insecure, discouraged and abandoned.
Through a variety of programs High Country Caregivers come along side grandparents to help them improve the lives of these children.
Kinship families face difficult challenges to provide for their grandchildren. Your generosity makes the following possible:
Kinship caregivers tend to be grandparents who are poorer, older, and less educated than traditional or foster families. High Country Caregivers offers these children a brighter tomorrow by breaking the cycle of poverty. Our networks of support provide food, clothing, healthcare, and financial assistance.
We provide legal services helping families obtain legal guardianship of their grandchildren, provided many of these children are unable to enroll in school or receive healthcare because their caregivers don’t have legal custody.
We offer support groups where children are provided supervision and activities, while the caregivers (grandparents) are able to express frustrations, learn helpful tools to rear their children, and are given a meal. Many of these families experience unique anxieties surrounding the uprooting of the children and dealing with the parents. Our groups are a safe place of acceptance for caregivers and children.
We provide Kinship navigation for families whose children were placed in the home by Social Services. Many of these caregivers have a limited knowledge of Social Services. We partner with DSS and these families to help them navigate the Social Services system. We also partner with the School System to provide assistance to caregivers, ensuring these children maximize their educational opportunities.
Many of these children and caregivers have suffered unspeakable trauma. We provide donated Holiday gifts, school supplies, summer camp opportunities, scholarships for dance classes, athletic registration fees, and other essential life changing needs. Our goal is to ensure that our families change these children’s tomorrow.
Caring for a child can be a hard task. Caring for a child you didn’t plan for at an advanced stage in life can be:
High Country Caregivers can make tomorrow brighter.
Our values are:
– Respect: We hold great respect for kinship caregivers and those they care for regardless of race, income, lifestyle choices, or situation.
– Change: We are dedicated and determined to positively impact the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of kinship families
– Commitment: We are committed to empowering all kinship caregivers to do their best for their children
– Collaboration: Networking with other organizations, professionals and agencies to provide navigation and support for kinship families in crisis
– Integrity: We use our resources wisely and transparently providing the maximum amount of resources for our clients.
– Rest: We are committed to providing outlets for kinship caregivers to rest and recharge
When you call us you will find us to be:
– Responsive: Within 48 hours you will receive a call back and within 7 days a home visit
– Helpful: We will help you develop a customized plan to assist you in caring for yourself and your child
– Resourceful: We will link you with life changing services, making tomorrow brighter
– Supportive: We will advocate on behalf of you and your child
– Friendly: In our groups you will get to know us and other caregivers sharing the similar struggles
– Open: We offer a safe place of expression without fear of judgment or condemnation