Annual art and expression contest celebrates kinship care in Idaho: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

In the midst of what we are collectively experiencing because of the global pandemic, there are those who continue to open their hearts and homes to Idaho children when their parents are unable to do so. These kinship families have my sincerest appreciation. We are very grateful for them.

My Family. My Story. is an annual event that the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has sponsored for 10 years. It is an art and expression contest that is open to children and youth who have ever been in kinship care in Idaho. Kinship care is when children are cared for by relatives or very close friends of the family when their parents are unable to care for them.

This year, the contest was expanded to also include kinship providers who have opened their hearts and homes to children and youth, as well as community providers who serve and work alongside kinship families.

Entries this year included everything from children and youth expressing the love, stability, and safety they feel from living with relatives, to their experiences, opportunities, and achievements.

Entries from community providers included a beautiful tribute celebrating the strength of a 21-year-old woman who took on the responsibility of parenting a close friend’s baby, as well as other entries that honor the strength, unique experiences of, and incredible contributions from kinship providers.

Entries from kinship providers include a poem from a grandmother expressing things she adores about her grandson to memories captured on a heartfelt photo blanket.

Please visit to see all of the entries and contest winners. Visit to see a video from me thanking the kinship caregivers for the care they provide to the children in their lives.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating Idaho’s kinship youth, caregivers, and partners who work alongside kinship families.


Gov. Brad Little announced yesterday that Idaho would remain in Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan for at least two more weeks. Idaho has seen increases in the number of reported cases, percent of positive cases, and COVID-19 hospitalizations. Please continue to follow recommended precautions: Continue to wear a mask, keep 6 feet between you and others, stay home if you feel sick, and wash your hands often.

I hope you all have a healthy and safe weekend. #MaskUpIdaho #GetAFluShot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s