The solution is to support the building of strong families, particularly among those families with challenges and who find themselves in situations where their success outcome is not certain .
Families are at the core of ensuring that children grow up feeling safe, loved and honored. All of this assures that children will grow up with a strong sense of who they are in the world. Furthermore, strong families provide the springboard to position children to move through the world feeling they can in fact be successful in all they take on.
The SFCM’s GrandFamilies program will address guardians’ needs for information, resources and support. In addition the SFCM’s GrandFamilies program will provide children in kinship care with play and learning activities geared towards helping improve their educational outcomes.
In addition to addressing needs of GrandFamilies, there is a need for the community to step-up. It benefits the community to help raise children who succeed. SFCM is uniquely positioned to bring much needed attention to the issue of kinship care, the challenges faced by these families and opportunities for health equity communities can provide. By raising the level of awareness to the issue and needs, policy at local and state levels and support for resources for GrandFamilies can be generated.
SFCM’s GrandFamilies program will provide information to guardians addressing social-economic determinants of health including access to health resources and to resources which help alleviate poverty. Simultaneously to working with guardians, the SFCM GrandFamilies program will provide play/learning activities for children in kinship care which support educational attainment.
Furthermore, the vast majority of GrandFamilies are households representing underserved, racially and ethnically diverse populations. Because many of these families reside outside of the city limits, access to the program by rural and underserved communities is addressed in the design of the program.
With regard to systems change for health in New Mexico, a collateral effect of the SFCM GrandFamilies program is to raise the awareness to the number of children in kinship care in New Mexico and how, through the leveraging of community resources, investment by the community can make a positive difference in the health outcomes for these families and their children.