Relatives as Parents
Usually when a child comes to live with a relative, it's because there has been some hardship in the family (death, illness, incarceration, inability to raise children). While many people feel that they are alone in this situation, in fact, some 10,000 children in Maine live with grandparents, aunts, uncles, or another relative and not their parents.
The Family Caregiver Support Programs through the Area Agencies on Aging provide information, referrals, support, and respite for relatives age 55 or older who are raising children age 18 or younger.
Resource Family Support Services (RFSS) services are provided statewide to all resource parents (foster, kinship, adoption and permanency guardianship) who are caring for children placed by the Department. Services are also provided statewide to kinship care providers who are caring for children not in state custody. The provider offers a 24 hour 7 day per week toll-free service phone line for resource parents to call for any kind of assistance. This support services include support groups for resource parents throughout the State of Maine, mentor services for newly oriented and trained resource parents, and a newsletter than provides information for resource parents about pertinent information. For more information contact: Adoptive & Foster Families of Maine, Inc. at 1-800-833-9786 or go to http://www.affm.net/.