FULTON, NY – Rotarian Helen Hoefer introduced John Gilmore, the coordinator of Catholic Charities Relatives Raising Relatives Program at a recent Fulton Rotary Club meeting.
This program for many years was called the Kinship program.
When John took over the program he found that Relatives Raising Relatives was a more appropriate name for the program.
John is able to relate to his clients because he was raised by a relative.
John said that the program currently serves 58 families a month in Oswego County.
The program is a federally funded program, but the federal funds are passed down to the non-profit organization through the county Department of Social Services.
John pointed out that relatives open their homes to a family child member for a variety of reasons ranging from unemployment, parents not getting along, and problems with drugs and alcohol.
The program usually works with a family for 4-6 years.
Some of the services that John and his staff provide the families are education of care givers on current issues, networking with other families in the same situation, school issues, provide a clothing exchange, and at times they will try to help out financially if the family is in need to help a child participate in an activity.
John said that some of the care givers have not had to raise children for 30 or more years and things are much different now that when they were raising their own children.