Responding to the Call for Care: Kinship Care Conference March 9

Mar 01, 2018
A free Kinship Care Conference will be held on March 9, from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Lake Michigan College Benton Harbor Campus.

A free Kinship Care Conference will be held on March 9 at the Lake Michigan College Benton Harbor Campus.

Kinship care refers to when grandparents and other relatives step in to raise children because parents are unable. While not a new phenomena, or one unique to the U.S., kinship care is on the rise, with 194,878 Michigan children recorded in the 2010 census as living in households away from their parents.

Common causes for the separation stem from mental or physical illness, poverty, incarceration, death or deployment in the military. The burden on these caregivers can be great, as is often the psychological and physical toll on children.

Conference organizers aim to educate human service professionals and community members about the cultural, legal, medical and psychological issues related to kinship care, and to promote services that support caregivers and ensure the safety of children who are in need of care and protection.

The keynote speaker will be international expert and scholar in residence, Dr. Jill Worrall of Auckland, New Zealand.

The conference is free of charge and a box lunch will be provided to all attendees. It will be held from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the D-Wing of LMC’s Benton Harbor Campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue. 

The conference is organized by the Lake Michigan College Sociology Department and sponsored by a grant from the Lake Michigan College Foundation. It is the last in a series of four kinship care events scheduled throughout Southwest Michigan.

To RSVP or for more information,  contact Dr. Michelle Stone at or (269) 487-8462.


8 - 8:45 a.m. - Registration

8:45 - 9 a.m. - Welcome, LMC President, Dr. Trevor Kubatzke

9 - 10:15 a.m. - Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jill Worrall

10:30 - 11:45 - Forums

“Cultural Competence in Kinship Care” by Western Michigan University Professor, Marian Tripplett; 

“Family Members Aging? Who Cares?” by Grand Valley State University Professor Dr. Priscilla Kimboko; 

“Legal Concerns in Kinship Care,” by Attorney for Berrien County Guardian Ad Litem, Elizabeth McCree

Noon - 1 p.m. - Box Lunch 

1:15 - 2 p.m. 
“Two Voices – A Comparison on Caregiving,” by Rev. Dr. Denise Kingdom Grier and Dr. Jill Worrall. 

2:15 - 3 p.m. - Interactive Panel