This photo was taken last year at the Refresh Conference (https://therefreshconference.org/). It is a picture of myself (Joy) and my dear friend, Amelia, who is a kinship caregiver.
Amelia is caring for her little brother, who was my foster son. I invited her to join me at a conference where she could get some training, specific to dealing with the challenges that her new “son” would be encountering.
He would have many big behaviors, due to the trauma of moving several times before he ended up with her family. Attending these trainings sparked many conversations between us, about Amelia’s brother’s challenges, and even encouraged her to work through some trauma that she had as well.
We came to the conclusion that Kinship Caregivers need to have awareness of and access to conferences like Refresh. A year later, Kinship Connection has been birthed and has grown into a 501c3, non-profit corporation.
We are looking forward to providing a way for 6-8 Kinship Caregivers to come to the @Refresh Conference this year, free of charge, with childcare included. We will have a connecting place for the caregivers to meet one another and appreciate that they are not alone.
I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to connect with Amelia, and I pray that Kinship Connection is able to encourage many kinship caregivers in the coming years.