Kin C.A.N. (“Kinship Caregiver Assistance Network”)
Addressing the needs of grandparents and other elders raising young relative children, many of whom have been abandoned, neglected or abused by birth parents.Advocates estimate that more than 60,000 children in Philadelphia are being raised by relative caregivers, primarily grandparents and other elderly family members. This accounts for 1 in 6 children in our community. Most have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their birth parents. These children are the innocent victims of their parents’ drug addiction, incarceration, violence, illness or death. Thousands of grandmothers and other elders have risen to the occasion to offer these children a home, and assuming the role of parent in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, to ensure that these kids receive medical care, an education, and the stability, affection, and sense of family they need to survive. These elders — known as kinship caregivers — are our clients and the children they are caring for are the focus of our services.
Through its Kin C.A.N. program, SeniorLAW Center provides essential assistance to elderly grandmothers and relatives raising young children whose birth parents are unable to care for them. Not surprisingly, an enormous number of these elder caregivers are also struggling themselves financially, many living solely on Social Security of $750 or less per month.
SeniorLAW Center’s Kin C.A.N. Program has been assisting older relative caregivers raising young children since 1993. The Kin C.A.N. Program helps young children remain with loving grandparents in caring and supportive homes. Through Kin C.A.N., SeniorLAW Center provides direct legal representation, counseling and advocacy services for hundreds of elderly grandparents and other caregivers on custody, support, visitation, protection from abuse, and the wide array of other issues vital to their daily lives, such as housing, financial stability, and planning for their and their children’s future care. SeniorLAW Center also educates elderly caregivers throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods on their rights and interest through community-based workshops and seminars, and links them with other needed information and human services.
Through Kin C.A.N., SeniorLAW Center enriches the lives of both our elderly clients and the young grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other young relatives they have taken under their care.