Determined to Succeed: A Night to Honor Kinship Caregivers

On June 10, 2011, Ron Huxley, LMFT, Director of Kinship Center services in San Luis Obispo, spoke to nearly 60 families at the Honoring Caregivers Dinner in Paso Robles, CA. The Cuesta College Kinship Care Education Program, who is a frequent partner with Kinship Center to serve the kin caregiver population in San Luis Obispo County, sponsored the event. Cuesta College often teaches classes at Kinship Center, and we, in exchange, help caregivers get the resources they need.

The audience included various nontraditional families but was largely made up of kinship caregivers. Other families included foster, adoptive and step parent families. About 60 families were in attendance. Ron’s focus was to provide information on how children heal from trauma and loss in the family context. He explored the latest research on attachment disorders and the need for developmental repairs. The Kinship Center model of The Developmental Buckets© was used to help kin caregivers understand how they can help their children heal from the trauma they have experienced.

All of this was done in the larger narrative of the idea of “honor.” Since the dinner was about honoring them as caregivers, the presentation explored how diverse families can honor one another and build more open, healing environments. A question and answer session was offered at the end of the talk. According to Ron, the most interesting part of the night was actually having dinner with the caregivers and hearing their personal stories of what they have overcome and how they love their relative and adoptive children. None of their stories were easy ones but all were heart-felt and full of determination to succeed whatever the odds.

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