School ofNursing

Kinship Caregiver Program

Washington State's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey for 2007 indicated that kinship caregivers are a high-risk population in terms of health status:

  • 21% had no health care coverage/
  • 28.4% reported having a disability;
  • 24.5% reported at-risk blood pressures;
  • 29.4% reported at-risk cholesterol levels;
  • 76.6% were overweight or obese;
  • and 28.8% smoked cigarettes.

In light of the data, Aging and Disability Services Administration, HopeSparks, and PLU School of Nursing launched the KCP in 2009, which includes 10-20 Community Health students providing home visits, health assessment and teaching, and care coordination to local kinship caregivers each semester.  Due to its success, the KCP expanded to Thurston County in 2011, added Family Education and Support Services as a new CGEP partner; and has inspired the creation of similar partnerships and initiatives elsewhere in the state.