Kinship care suits Lisa Bible just fine

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Submitted Photo Lisa Bible shares the award for Kinship Family of the Year with three of her children following the luncheon, held in Columbus.

By Carol McIntire
Many Ohio children are fortunate to be cared for by kinship caregivers when their own parents are unable or unavailable to care for them.
Although kinship care is normally provided by relatives, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and even older siblings. In the case of a Carroll County woman, her journey with kinship care began as a kind and loving neighbor to four young children.
Lisa Bible, a single mother, has two children of her own.
She said when her children were outside playing, the neighbor’s four children lined up and watched her kids playing on a trampoline and in the pool.
“I babysat with them and they became like my own,” Bible told The Messenger. “I got very attached to them.”
In 2021, the children were placed in her care when they could no longer live at home. She received legal custody through the court system a year later and is now raising the children.
“One of the first things I did was to get them caught up on their vaccines and make sure they had everything they needed,” Bible said.
“They are doing well and like the love and attention they get,” Bible said. “They love to go for walks and play the Poke´mon game. They laugh a lot.”
Bible purchased a larger car so all six can travel together at one time and is looking to purchase a larger house.
“I always had nieces and nephews at the house, so I’ve always been around kids. I love them.”
“Being a kinship caregiver makes me feel good. I am happy to help these kids get the life they deserve. I feel like I am finally doing what I am supposed to do with my life.”
Bible was nominated by the Carroll County Department of Job and Family Services for the Family of the Year award for her efforts.
Bible was selected to receive the award and was recognized at the state level during the Public Children Services Association of Ohio conference held last week in Columbus.
She attended a luncheon with the family where she received a plaque, certificate and gift cards.

“It was very nice,” Bible said. “Three of the kids were brave enough to go up on stage with me. Kate (Offenberger, Carroll County Job and Family Services director) told me I could make a speech, but I couldn’t. I was just so happy.”
She was also recognized by Carroll County Commissioners during the Sept. 22 meeting with a proclamation for her dedication to the children and efforts to provide them with a fulfilling life.
Kinship care
While many kinship arrangements happen outside the child protection system, children services agencies recognize research showing that children and youth raised by a safe, familiar kinship caregiver have better outcomes than those children in unrelated foster care, including more regular school attendance, better grades and fewer community problems. They are less likely to move from home to home. That’s why when courts remove children from their home, agencies seek first to place them with kin.
In Ohio, more than 227,000 children under the age of 18 live in homes where the caregivers are relatives other than their parents.  And of those, more than 183,000 live with grandparents. 
Job and Family Services is providing supportive services to 13 children in Carroll County who live in nine kinship homes.  Of the nine homes, seven are grandparent’s homes.
In addition, 31 children being served through the Kinship Permanency Incentive Program are residing in 17 different kinship homes in the county.  Of those homes, 11 are grandparents.
Getting involved
There is a broad continuum of family arrangements and governmental supports when a child is placed out of the parents’ home. Arrangements range from informal to judicially ordered. Families may qualify for additional benefits. To learn more, contact your local Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program toll free at 1-800-844-OHIO-KAN or the county Job and Family Services office at 330-627-2571.

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