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Blended Family Dynamics Quick Guide

Overview:
The Blended Family Dynamics Quick Guide is for parents and/or caregivers with families that stem from re-marriages, foster parenting, Kinship Caregiving, and families who have adopted children. Blended families may experience difficulties around parenting, boundaries, healthy relationships, authority, and notions of what a family is and what the role of a parent is within a family. These issues can be compounded when parenting traumatized children, grandchildren, etc.

GOAL:
The goal of the Blended Family Dynamics Quick Guide is to provide families with informational and community resources to help them navigate the complex issues associated with their blended families.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
Over the past few decades Kinship care has been on the rise. Kinship care can be defined as the care of a child by someone other than their parents, who has deep emotional ties to the child. This can include: grandparents, aunts, uncles, close family friends or older siblings. For more information and informational resources on Kinship care, see the Kinship folder.
Foster Parenting can be a very rewarding, yet challenging opportunity for some parents. Providing love and support to a child in need can mean the difference for that child. For more information on resources for foster parenting or to become a foster parent, see the Foster Care folder.

There are a multitude of reasons someone may be interested in adoption, or why someone is interested in putting their child up for adoption.  For more information on Adoption, see the Adoption folder.

When marriage occurs between partners who have children from previous relationships, there can be adjustment challenges for both parents and kids. For more information, see the Blended Families through marriage folder.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Blended families through marriage can be challenging as everyone transitions to their new home life. Depending on the age of the children there might be resistant to having a new parent in their life or new siblings. There are steps that can be taken to make this transition as smooth as possible for the family, for more information see the Guide to Step-parenting and blended families.

TAKE ACTION:
If a client is struggling with their blended family, there are community resources to help. For more information, see the Blended Families Resource Tool.