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posted on July 14, 2011 09:53

Idaho KinCare Family Day

July 15, 2011, is a day to celebrate kincare families around Idaho

In Idaho, more than 23,000 children live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives. To recognize and celebrate these families, July 15 has been designated Idaho KinCare Family Day.

To mark the occasion, the Idaho KinCare Project, a partnership between the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer program, will celebrate at 10 a.m. Friday in Capitol Park, located across Jefferson Street from the State Capitol in Boise.

Celebrants will read the official Idaho KinCare Family Day proclamation, signed by the Governor, and celebrate with cake. Local winners of a statewide art contest open to children in kincare will be recognized by Lt. Gov. Brad Little in a ceremony prior to the celebration at 9:30 a.m. in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office. The media is welcome to attend the ceremony.

Participants in the contest composed a poem, wrote a short essay, or drew a picture that described how living with someone other than their parents has made a positive difference in their lives. Winners in each age category received $100 each. All of the entries are published in My Family. My Story., available online here.

Many kincare families form out of difficult situations that have left parents unable to care for their children on their own. Entries in My Family. My Story. illustrate the important role grandparents, relatives and other meaningful adults play in raising these children. In the children’s own words:

  • “I like living with nana and papa because they take us for walks because I’m special and cause they love me,” writes 8-year-old Hailey.
  • “When I was born my mother took care of me but she left me and my brother with my grandparents,” writes Cassidy, 12. “We live in the house that we’ve always live in and we mostly have everyday lives, except for living with our grandparents which is still cool.”
  • “When you take me under your wing…I’ll always know I’ll be safe in your nest!” Samirah, 10.

Idaho has seen a dramatic rise in kincare households in the last decade, growing almost 20% faster than seen nationally. Idaho KinCare Family Day and the My Family. My Story. contest are two of the ways that the Idaho KinCare Project is hoping to spread awareness of kincare issues in Idaho. For more information on kincare in Idaho, please call 2-1-1 or visit the kincare tabs on 211.idaho.gov. 

(Editors: For more information contact Boise-area VISTA volunteer Robbie Jackson at 287-1031.)