Kinship Care Warmline
Designed to provide “a warm, listening ear,” emotional support, information, and referral for relative caregivers throughout Florida, the Florida Kinship Center operates the Warmline at the USF Tampa campus. Caregivers in the Tampa Bay area may dial locally to 813-974-1328; elsewhere in Florida dial 1-800-640-6444. Since 2000, the Warmline has offered many caregivers their first opportunity to share the feelings, frustrations, joys and successes of their kinship caregiving experience.
Between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., caregivers calling the Warmline will reach someone on our Warmline staff including trained grandparent volunteers and social work students. If all Warmline staff are on other calls, a recorded message is played indicating that all operators/lines are currently busy and asking the caller to leave a message. All messages left during business hours are returned as soon as possible. A different recorded message is heard after regular Warmline hours with weekend messages responded to the following business day. As a follow-up, callers receive a packet of information pertinent to their concerns and the county in which they reside.
When a caregiver reaches the Warmline, the caller is given the opportunity to identify themselves (if they choose) and allowed time to share their stories and vent their frustrations in a safe and supportive environment. If the caller identifies specific needs, the Warmline staff determines the resources available in the caller’s area and provides information and referral. All callers are encouraged to contact the Warmline again, whether to find more resources or just talk to someone who cares.
To help inform future efforts targeting kinship care families, callers are asked to answer a short demographic survey and identify their most pressing needs, using a Needs Assessment tool. By completing this survey and Needs Assessment tool, the FKC is able to gather data that demonstrates the varied needs and issues facing relative caregivers in Florida.
We are very appreciative to our funding agencies. Because we are a non-profit center that is solely dependent on grants and donations, we are in need of continued funding and support. If you would like to make a conribution to the center, visit the USF Foundation site.