The Kinship Support Services Program served a classic Thanksgiving dinner to local children and the aunts, uncles, siblings, and grandparents who have courageously stepped up to care for them. The second annual Thanksgiving Family Night proved to be a massive success, serving twice as many dinners as the year prior and providing games, prizes, and entertainment for the families in attendance. The meal was prepared by Clinic staff who volunteered their time and their kitchens to make the event possible.

Kinship Support Services provides resources for relatives who have taken on the role of caregiver. Nearly five hundred Kern County foster children are placed with a relative and hundreds more are informally living with a relative caregiver. Relative caregivers often have special needs related to poverty, age, poor health, and social isolation. Kinship addresses these needs by providing families with access to care, financial support, and social events.

For many, this is their extended family.
— Leann Kraetsch

Each month the Kinship Support team provides special events to promote a positive environment for families. The Thanksgiving Family Night is a special event many kinship families look forward to, as highlighted by therapist Leann Kraetsch, “The dinner gives families the chance to be grateful for staying together and promotes fellowship with other families facing the same difficulties; for many this is their extended family.”

The Kinship Support Services team is Mary Cornett, Queta Diaz, Leann Kraetsch, and Julian Love. A very special thanks to Kristi Brown, Candy Coats, and Veronica Contreras for preparing the turkeys for this event. To learn more about the Kinship Support Services Program visit hwmcgc.org/kinship or call (661) 322-1021.