Lupardo honored for outstanding leadership on kinship care

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(JOHNSON CITY, NY) – September is Kinship Care Month, and as the month-long advocacy period wraps up, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was recognized Tuesday for her leadership in supporting the Kinship Care Program, which assists grandparents and other relatives who care for children. At the Family Enrichment Office in Johnson City office, Family Support Services Director Deb Faulks presented Assemblywoman Lupardo with the ‘Friend of Kinship Care’ award for helping to secure funding that will enable the organization to provide kinship services for five years. Lupardo, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, also presented a resolution to the Family Enrichment Network recognizing September as Kinship Care Month in New York.

“I’m honored to receive this award, however it’s the kinship families that really deserve to be recognized” said Lupardo. “A lack of resources is the number one roadblock between providers and families. The funding included in the budget will ensure these services are available for the next five years.”

Lupardo helped secure $1.3 million in the enacted 2015-16 State Budget for kinship programs, a $500 thousand increase over the previous year. Family Enrichment Network will receive $100 thousand in each of the next five years to support its kinship programs.

Relatives that provide kinship care can include, but are not limited to; grandparents, aunts and/or uncles, and older siblings. Kinship families may also qualify to receive compensation for providing guardianship; up to $2,000 for legal services like attorney’s fees connected to obtaining guardianship, and for the child, education and training vouchers, up to $5,000 per year for college or vocational training costs, depending on availability.

For more information, call the Family Enrichment Network at (607) 723-8313.