Kinship Care Is Focus Of FSN’s Jan. 11 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Virtual Presentation


If you are in a kinship or fictive kin (family friend) care circumstance and have been hesitant to join our groups at Family Strengths Network, this is the time for you to check it out! We have a very special guest this month for our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Kinship Care Support Group and we hope you can join us!

On Monday, Jan. 11, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Derek Rugsaken will give a presentation on kinship care. According to the Southwest Family Guidance Center, three percent of children in the United States are not living with their parents.

“They can end up on the streets, in traditional foster care, or under the guardianship of a friend or family member. If they are fortunate enough to stay with family (kin) or close family friends (fictive kin), research shows better mental health outcomes, reduced childhood trauma, and less separation from siblings—all very good things,” the Center’s website states. “Many beneficial resources that are available to foster parents have been denied to kinship caregivers. Our program seeks to bridge that gap, and provide training, assistance, and support for kinship caregivers.”

Rugsaken, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at the Center, received his MA in Counseling from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Prior to this he served as a volunteer working with families transitioning out of homelessness in Oakland, Calif. and later worked as a preschool teacher in Santa Fe. He currently specializes in working with teens and families, and serves as a trauma-informed consultant to Espanola schools through the Center’s Thriving Students program.

We truly hope you can join us for this presentation. If you haven’t already signed up through FSN or by contacting our facilitator, Lori Padilla, please let us know whether you’ll be able to attend by Sunday evening, Jan. 10. by email or texting Lori at (505) 795-5723. Or you can just show up too, if you have the Zoom information already!

This support group is open to all individuals in a kinship or fictive kin situation. Please also know that it is okay to arrive late or leave early from the meeting. It is just helpful for us and the group to know before the group starts, so we can plan accordingly. Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.