HARRISBURG – A new source of state help is available for grandparents raising their grandchildren in Pennsylvania, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
The Pennsylvania departments of Human Services and Aging have announced a new helpline for families in kinship care situations, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings raising children because of the opioid crisis.
The KinConnector hotline is aimed at connecting families with available resources such as: health, financial, and legal services; training; parenting advice; locating physical or behavioral health services; school enrollment; finding support groups, and other services designed to help caregivers.
Kinship Navigators will also be available to help families apply for federal, state, and local benefits such as Social Security, public assistance, or CHIP.
“Like other states, Pennsylvania is in the midst of one of the worst public health crises of our generation and now, as addiction and substance abuse continues to impact families across the state, grandparents are on the front lines of the epidemic,” Sen. Yaw said. “KinConnector will help further ease the burden on these families and provide them with additional tools and resources.”
The helpline was created by Act 89 of 2018, which established a kinship navigator program for Pennsylvania. KinConnector will act as a bridge that helps families identify resources, including gaining access to local, state, and federal resources.
KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The KinConnector helpline is staffed by Kinship Navigators–compassionate, knowledgeable social service professionals prepared to help families locate, understand, and access resources that may be able to help them. This helpline, however, is just the beginning. A website of resources is set to launch in late 2019.
For more information on resources available for kinship families and grandparents raising grandchildren, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
For more state-related news and information visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff