|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
A new helpline is available to help connect thousands of grandparents in Pennsylvania who are raising their grandchildren to the resources and programs available to them.
KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The helpline is staffed by social service professionals prepared to help families locate, understand and access local, state and federal resources.
The KinConnector helpline was established through Act 89 of 2018 to address the growing number of grandparents who have become primary caregivers to their grandchildren in the Commonwealth. It is a situation that has skyrocketed in recent years as a result of the state’s opioid epidemic. An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
Children being cared for by relatives are less likely to end up in foster care and will experience better outcomes. KinConnector will help ease the burden on these families and give them the tools and resources they need to be successful.
This helpline is just the beginning. The state Department of Human Services is set to launch a website of resources later this year. In the meantime, links to a variety of local, state and federal programs is available on my website, RepToohil.com.
If you have a question regarding any state government-related matter, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may see the answer in a future column.
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office