HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new helpline has been launched to help the families of Pennsylvania children living in kinship care households.

Between 2016 and 2018, an average of 77,000 Pennsylvania children lived in kinship care households, many of them due to the opioid crisis.

The departments of Human Services and Aging launched KinConnector hotline to help connect families in which grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings are raising children because of the opioid crisis with resources and services.

Those resources include health, financial and legal services, training, parenting advice, locating physical or behavioral health services, school enrollment, and other services.

“We know that children are less likely to end up in foster care and will experience better outcomes when they’re living with a relative or someone they know,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “We want to help ease the burden on these families and give them all the tools and resources they need to be successful. This helpline is the first step in doing just that.”

The state also plans to launch a website of resources later this year.

The phone number for KinConnector is 1-866-KIN-2111. Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.