Rose Baile becomes CCKids’ First Kinship Navigator

Posted 9/29/22

Communities Connected for Kids unveiled its Kinship Navigator Program earlier this month...

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Rose Baile becomes CCKids’ First Kinship Navigator

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PORT ST. LUCIE – Communities Connected for Kids unveiled its Kinship Navigator Program earlier this month to help relative caregivers access local resources to help them successfully care for and keep children out of foster care.

And it’s first hired employee knows a thing or 10 about navigating the system.

Rose Bailey has been involved with the local child-welfare system of care for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Brian, are former foster parents and are the adoptive parents of eight children.

She has been the turn-to person whenever someone was needed to speak to the public or to the media about foster care. And she served as foster parent mentor in St. Lucie County for 16 years.

In fact, Bailey launched the Lead Agency’s Foster Parent Mentor Program in 2006, when she was asked to help new foster parents acclimate to their roles.

“I started with the program, and I was with it all the way to the end,” she said on her first day as Kinship Navigator. “It’s a bittersweet day.”

The mentor program was gradually sunset as CCKids’ child-placing agencies – those like Camelot Community Care and 4Kids, which train and license foster parents – took greater roles in retention activities.

As kinship navigators program, Bailey will apply the same skills she used as a foster parent mentor to helping another population of caregivers – relatives and non-relatives (neighbors, teachers, etc. who care for children but who are not related to them and are not fully licensed foster parents).

A second navigator – Farrah Whittaker – also joined the program this week, and another two are expected to be hired in the coming weeks.

They will be the first points of contact for relatives and nonrelatives when children are placed in their homes. They also will help prepare them for Level 1 Licensing, a type of child-specific licensing that will open additional resources to caregivers.

Whittaker comes to CCKids with about 15 years of early childhood development experience. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in human service with a concentration in youth and families studies.

Poole said she can can’t think of a better team to start the program.

“They will both help our caregivers navigate the dependency system successfully,” Poole said. “And Rose comes with such a wealth of knowledge and lived experience,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing this program without her.”

CCKids, relatives, kinship, navigators, program

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