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When Family Ties Turn Into Entanglements:
Relatives Raising Children

By Judy Paschalis

(Page 4 of 4)

The Kinship Navigator Program also facilitates a monthly educational/support meeting which features a free light supper and programs for adults, teens, elementary-aged children and toddlers.

Most professionals who work with children agree that placing children with family members is a response by government that serves the families and the taxpayers well.  It is far less costly, in terms of tax dollars, to have children in “kinship families” than in foster care; and, most professionals agree that, in general, the children will do better when living with members of their own families.  With the help of the Kinship Navigator Program, many caregivers are able to find ways to not only take care of the children, but to take care of themselves also.

Top Ten Reasons It’s Not All Bad With Children In the House

  1. You’ve started to laugh out loud again.
  2. You know you are doing the best you can to take care of the children in your family.
  3. Attending the kids’ baseball games is fun and keeps you young.
  4. Because the children are living with you, you know they’re safe and are being kept with family and not in foster care.
  5. You’re getting a lot more exercise.
  6. You’re sleeping a lot better.
  7. Ice-cream cones are once again an after dinner treat.
  8. You know that 56 is the answer to 7 times 8 without having to pause to think.
  9. You really do love having the kids around.
  10. Your caregiving may be the single most important reason that the children will grow up with positive outlooks and armed with the ability to lead productive lives.


Judy Paschalis has been the coordinator of the Kinship Navigator Program, sponsored by the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio in Toledo, since 2001. Previously, she worked in television journalism and public relations in Toledo.  She believes that being a great-grandmother and the adoptive mother equips her well with the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of kinship families. Judy can be reached at

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