Governor Pillen Recognizes Month of September as Kinship Care Awareness Month

News Release
For Immediate Release: 9/15/2023

Jeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,

Lincoln – Today, Governor Jim Pillen declared the Month of September as Kinship Care Awareness Month to highlight the important contribution that kin and relatives play in supporting and raising children. Relative and kinship homes provide a critical service for vulnerable children and families.

DHHS values the commitment that families make when caring for and raising relative and kin children. The department partners with providers across the state such as the Nebraska Children's Home Society (NCHS) and Lutheran Family Services for Kinship Navigator services, both to prevent formal system involvement and when children involved with DHHS are placed with relatives/kin. Approximately 15,000 children are being raised by relatives or kin in Nebraska. 

“Nearly 34% of children in foster care in Nebraska are receiving care from a relative or kin caregiver. Studies show that kinship care minimizes trauma, improves well-being, increases permanency, and improves behavioral and mental health outcomes," said Lana Temple-Plotz, CEO of NCHS. “I appreciate Governor Pillen highlighting the important work kinship families do in our state." 

“Each Nebraskan plays a crucial role in ensuring the future of our state and our communities. Our children are our future and they deserve our support," said the Interim Director of Children and Family Services Division Tony Green. “I appreciate the families who have stepped forward to provide a supportive, loving, and safe home environment that allows our children to grow and learn every day."

Kinship navigator services provide coordination of services, tangible concrete supports, wellbeing resources, and emotional support to kin and relative families to maintain these children safely in their family and community. Additionally, DHHS provides economic assistance services to families and kin, such as TANF, child care, and emergency assistance to support a family's added financial needs.

To learn more about kinship navigation, please visit:

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