FULTON, NY – Coordinator of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Kinship Program, Jonathan Gilmore, announced that Patty Heppell has joined the staff as a program assistant.
A former teacher’s aide in the Fulton School District, Heppell is happy to be a part of the program.
“I’ve always wanted to work for a non-profit agency and have a career that I can feel good about. It’s rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone’s life and this position allows me to do that,” explained Hepple.
As program assistant, Heppell will work closely with caregivers who are raising a family member’s child.
By providing caregivers with emotional support and giving them the tools they need to adjust to their new family environment, Heppell will help families come together as a whole.
“Caregivers can often feel overwhelmed. Due to unexpected circumstances, they have taken on the responsibility of raising a relative’s children and suddenly find themselves in the role of parents,” explained Heppell. “For the child, they now have a new living environment and a new family unit to adjust to. I work with the families to help them accomplish their goal of establishing a healthy family unit. In addition to helping them get acclimated to the court system and the school system, I also advocate for them by attending meetings with school officials, lawyers, and other service providers to ensure that the best interests of the families are being met and ensure that families who are raising children of relatives develop into healthy and productive family units.”
“We are happy to have Patty join our staff,” said Gilmore. “Patty’s experiences as a mother of two and a teacher’s aide have prepared her well for her role of program assistant. Her tremendous energy and her ability to relate with children and empathize with caregivers will serve her well and greatly benefit the families she is working with.”
In addition to the professional support the Kinship Program provides, families also benefit from peer support as the Kinship Program hosts monthly events, and encourages group meetings with other families.
“It is important to the families to know that they are not alone and that their family environment is not unique,” said Gilmore.
For more information, call Gilmore at 315-598-3980 or visit www.ccoswego.com