What is Kinship Connections of Wyoming?

Kinship Connections of Wyoming is a free service to grandparents, relatives and other caregivers who are raising children that are not their own. We know that the gift you are giving to the children you are caring for can be extremely rewarding but also very challenging. 

It is our goal to minimize stressors through support and advocacy. A Kinship Navigator Specialist will ensure that your family is able to learn about, access and use appropriate programs and services to meet your needs and the needs of the children you are raising.  By fostering the positive, well-being of kinship caregivers and children, the kinship caregiver will have an increased capacity to provide a safe, stable and nurturing home.

At this time Kinship Connections of Wyoming is serving Laramie, Natrona, Sweetwater and Sheridan Counties. We are beginning to expand and offer our services statewide. If you do not reside in the counties we are currently serving, we would still be happy to help to the best of our ability from a distance.

How can Kinship Connections of Wyoming help?

  • We are here to help connect you to resources such as legal aid, food, clothing, and counseling. 
  • We can help you apply for public benefits such as cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid. 
  • We can advocate for you and the children your raising in school, court systems, health care, and mental health agencies. 
  • We can connect you to communities who share your experiences through support groups and events. 
  • We can provide educational and training activities to help remove identified barriers and encourage success.
  • We can connect you to a peer support group.

What is kinship care and who is considered a kinship caregiver?

Kinship care is when any non-parent provides full time care for children in their home. A kinship caregiver may be a grandparent, other relative or non-relative who has a relationship or bond with a child. Kinship care can occur in a formal or informal manner.

What is the difference between informal and formal kinship care?

Informal kinship care is when a kinship caregiver is caring for a child without the involvement of the court system, often through a verbal agreement between a kinship caregiver and the child’s parent. 

Formal kinship care is when a kinship caregiver is caring for a child because the child has been legally placed in their care by the court.

Is Kinship Connections of Wyoming right for me?

We believe the best way for you to find out if Kinship Connections of Wyoming is right for you and your family is to contact us by calling 2-1-1 so that you can be connected to a Kinship Navigator. A Kinship Navigator will be able to engage in conversation with you to determine what your needs are and share with you how they may be able to meet your needs so that you can make an informed decision.

How long should I expect to receive support from a Kinship Navigator?

A Kinship Navigator is here to meet your needs and we recognize that everyone’s needs are different. We believe that families can benefit the most by working with us for a minimum of 30 days, however many families will work with us for a longer time or may find that their needs have been met sooner and our support is no longer necessary. The degree to how much we are involved is determined by you and your needs.

What is foster care?

Foster care is the out of home placement of children with a licensed foster care provider. Foster care placement occurs when a law enforcement officer, physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner takes protective custody of a child because there is reasonable cause to believe there is imminent danger to a child's life, health or safety. Placement in foster care is intended to be temporary and the goal is to reunify children with their family if and when it is possible.

What is temporary guardianship for educational, medical care, and dental care purposes?

Temporary guardianship for educational, medical care, and dental purposes can be granted through a Wyoming court. It can give certain family caregivers limited rights to make educational, medical and dental decisions specifically. Temporary guardianship can last for no more than one year.

What is permanent guardianship?

Permanent guardianship occurs when a parent is unable to care for their child and the court appoints someone other than the child’s parent to be legally responsible for the child’s welfare. Permanent guardianship can end by an order of the court.

What is adoption?

Adoption is a permanent legal process that can only occur if there is a termination of parental rights. Following a termination of parental rights, a child would be eligible for adoption. Once adoption occurs the person(s) who adopted the child will have the same rights and responsibilities to that child as they would to their biological children.

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