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D6: Stepping Up for Indiana Kinship Families: A New Way Forward

Indiana families take in grandchildren, nieces/nephews, siblings, and cousins at one of the highest rates in the nation. What would our kinship family community look like if the state stepped up for these families in the same way they've stepped up for their relatives? This workshop will explore some answers to that question.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is the current state of play for Indiana's kinship community.  
  • How could Indiana be doing more for our kinship families?
  • How will children benefit from kinship families that are better supported by our state?


Sharon Pierce served as The Villages' President and CEO for nearly 30 years. Before joining the organization, Sharon was the Deputy Director for the Indiana Division of Family and Children, overseeing Indiana's state child welfare system. Her experience also includes positions with the Children's Home & Aid Society of Illinois, Youth Advocate Program and Illinois Collaboration on Youth. Sharon is a member of numerous boards and service organizations promoting the best interests of children.

Dr. Shelvy Keglar is a clinical psychologist, entrepreneur, and businessman. He is the founder and President of Midwest Psychological Center and the Midwest Institute. He was previously selected as a top psychologist in Indianapolis by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals and is a member of numerous professional organizations on the state and national level.



Sharon Pierce, MA & Shelvy Keglar, Ph.D., HSPP