Tampa, Florida, October 9, 2018 — The Children’s Home Network has been selected as a grantee in the Aetna Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program and was awarded a $100,000 grant to implement self-care support for Kinship grandparents and caregivers who are raising children that are not their own.
The Cultivating Healthy Communities program awarded more than $2 million in grants to 23 nonprofit organizations to advance the Aetna Foundation’s mission to improve health at the local level. Grants will support projects that will address social determinants of health such as improving access to healthy foods, promoting safe public spaces, and reducing exposure to air contaminants. The grantees were chosen based on the strength of their strategies to improve the health of their communities, with an emphasis on resident-led and policy focused initiatives.
The Kinship program at the Children’s Home Network is open to families in Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, and Seminole Counties who are grandparents or other relative caregivers raising a family member’s child(ren). Kinship offers support by helping families connect to resources, expand family support systems, and reduce stress to promote family stability. The project comes at a critical time for Kinship caregivers, when approximately 6 million children are raised by relatives in the United States (4.5 million with grandparents). Thanks to the Aetna Foundation, the 24 month grant will implement a Peer to Peer approach to promote self-care goals for grandparents whose needs are often neglected due to their caregiver duties.
Larry Cooper, Chief of Intervention and Preventative Services at the Children’s Home Network states, “Grandparents and caregivers are stepping in to raise children that would otherwise be placed into foster care. These grandparents are immediately overwhelmed and faced with obstacles and challenges that they don’t know how to navigate. They wonder what’s going to happen next, how do they keep the children safe, what are their rights and how should we handle certain situations. During these difficult times are when the Kinship program is there to offer support and guidance.”
“The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “By identifying community-specific challenges, and unique ways to combat them, this year’s grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute to the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity.”
This funding addresses the need to improve opportunities for all Americans—regardless of income, education or ethnic background—to take an active role in living healthier lives. For more information on the Cultivating Healthy Communities program visit, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna (NYSE:AET). As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who volunteered 520,000 hours in 2017 alone. For more information, visit