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KINECT: KINECT– Kinship Caregiver Education, Counseling and Training

KINECT provides support and services for kinship caregivers in Tompkins County.  Kinship caregivers are family members, or close family friends, who have stepped up to become foster parents to children in need. Currently, relatives who take care of foster children are provided very little support by DSS.
The program will work in conjunction with F&CS’s Grandparents Support Group and the “Caring for our Own” foster-parent support group at DSS and in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension. These groups will focus on promoting self-esteem and reducing feelings of isolation and alienation.

Services Provided

Services are offered at a location convenient to the family, whether the family home, a nearby community location, or at our office in  downtown Ithaca.  Most families will receive services for three to six months.

Services include:
  • Education to caregivers
  • Home-based clinical case-management (referrals, connection, and ensuring access to resources)
  • Direct counseling to caregivers
  • Advocacy and support in Family Court, with DSS, Schools, etc.

Who is KINECT for?

- Families who have brought relative children into their home to raise while the parents are unavailable.
- Children can be any type of relative to the caregiver, as long as the caregiver was considered “family” by the child’s parents.
- Arrangements to care for children can be formal, such as foster care or adoption, or informal arrangements
- Families who may be adjusting to a child newly placed in their home.
- Families who have been caring for a child for a longer period of time, but have had a change in the child’s behavior, needs, or relationship with their parents.
- Families who need help accessing resources for either the children or the caregivers.
- Families who would benefit from supportive counseling.


Contact us:

To inquire about our services or to make a referral, please call or email:
Marisa Matsudaira, LCSW
Director of Youth and Outreach
Phone: 607-273-7494
Email: mmatsudaira@fcsith.org
Funding for this program is provided by New York State Office for Children and Family Services.  Services are provided to families free of charge.