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Kinship Care

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
3:00-4:30 PM ET / 2:00-3:30 PM CT / 1:00-2:30 PM MT /
12:00-1:30 PM PT / 11:00-12:30 PM Alaska / 9:00-10:30 AM Hawaii

Event Description

This free peer-to-peer webinar on kinship care was organized by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections for the National Association of State Foster Care Managers as a part of the NASFCM Annual Meeting (which took place virtually this year). The webinar featured presentations on approaches to kinship care in Illinois and Florida. The Recruitment and Kin Connection Project (RKCP) is a Children’s Bureau 2010 diligent recruitment grantee project administered by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in Chicago, Illinois. RKCP embraces front-end family finding as an effective intervention strategy that contributes to building a life-long supportive network for children in care.  Locating family is essential and engaging family is crucial to their approach.  It is their belief that when family finding is executed with passion and a sense of urgency, it can reduce children’s time in care. Their presentation provided an overview of the Recruitment and Kin Connection Project, offered strategies for recruiting relatives and fictive kin, discussed concurrent planning, and reviewed RKCP evaluation information. Florida’s presentation focused on how to support kin and successfully keep children out of care, based on the approach of The Children’s Home in Tampa, Florida. The presenter identified key elements of a successful community model for relative caregivers and illustrated successful approaches to preventing disruption of relative placements and entries into care. Florida’s presentation helped participants to recognize the impact on your system of care of successful programming for relative caregivers.

Listening Time: 72 minutes

Presenter Bios


Deborah Saucedo
Deborah Saucedo is the Adoptions Unlimited, Inc. Project Director for the Recruitment and Kin Connection Project, a Diligent Recruitment 2 grant that was awarded to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services by the Children’ Bureau.  She has over 20 years of experience in direct child welfare practice and administration.  Ms. Saucedo has been involved in various aspects of family based services implementation and has provided training and curriculum development in the area of leadership development for child welfare supervisory and management teams.

Scott Leon
Scott Leon is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches and mentors in the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs.  Dr. Leon earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University Medical School in June, 2002.  During his graduate studies, he developed research interests in mental health services evaluation.  Dr. Leon’s published work has focused on the mental health and placement outcomes of youth in the child welfare system.  In addition, Dr. Leon has provided psychotherapy as an associate in a private group practice and currently consults to hospitals, schools, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. 


Lawrence H. Cooper, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
As Project Director of Kinship Care at The Children’s Home since 2001, Larry Cooper has supervised Kinship Care program, a prevention and early intervention program in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties. He is currently leading a new federally funded Kinship grant, one of only seven awarded nationally from The Children’s Bureau under the 2008 Foster Connections legislation. He has presented nationally on his work with Kinship families and has partnered with the USF School of Social Work to advocate in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. to enhance services and awareness of the needs of relative caregivers. Mr. Cooper was invited to co-chair Generations United, International Intergenerational Conference in 2009 and 2011 in Washington, D.C. In addition to Kinship Care, Mr. Cooper was the Program Manager for SEARCH (So Every Available Ready Child has a Home) Services foster care and adoption program, overseeing a staff of therapists and case managers in finding foster or adoptive families for children in Tampa Bay’s child welfare system. He successfully implemented the first Heart Gallery project to raise awareness of the need for adoptive families in the Tampa Bay Area. During his career at The Children’s Home, Mr. Cooper also has supervised staff for the Residential Clinical Treatment program, the Parents as Partners program. Mr. Cooper has been in private practice in the Tampa Bay community for 15 years providing anger management and domestic violence treatment to court ordered adults. Mr. Cooper earned both his Master’s of Social Work degree in 1993 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1990 at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. Mr. Cooper has offered supervision to BSW and MSW interns from the School of Social Work since 1997. He has also worked with the School of Social Work’s Title IV –E students, has been a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at USF School of Social Work. He was awarded the 2011-2012 Field Supervisor of the Year by the USF School of Social Work. Before coming to The Children’s Home, Mr. Cooper served as Social Worker and Care Coordinator for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Social Worker for APPLEservices, sexual abuse treatment program. He also has volunteered at the Healthy Start Coalition, Boggy Creek Camp for children with disabilities and Project Success, among other charities.

Webinar Materials and Additional Resources

  • Second Time Around: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
    Many grandparents today are stepping in to raise their grandchildren when the children's own parents are not able or willing to do so. These grandparents have made numerous sacrifices, and the grandchildren must overcome their feelings of insecurity, anger or embarrassment. What can grandparents do to provide the best possible care for their grandchildren while still preserving their own health and well-being? The great news is there are steps to making the adjustments and building new relationships. Larry Cooper, LCSW, Project Director, Kinship Care, The Children’s Home, Inc. discusses grandparents raising grandchildren in this podcast of the Let’s Get Real Radio Show. (September 8, 2013)