Request Assistance

Bridging Systems for Kinship Families

Applications Due by January 30, 2024

BRIDGING SYSTEMS FOR KINSHIP FAMILIES above an image of a bridge and the logo for the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center

Applications due:  January 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m. ET:

Bridging Systems for Kinship Families Fillable Application Form

Word version of application questions (not fillable form)

Download the information session presentation

View the information session recording


The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network (Network), the nation’s first federally funded technical assistance center for those who serve grandparents and other kin caregivers and the children they raise, is thrilled to roll out a unique opportunity to work with the nation’s leading experts on kinship families, all free of charge. After reviewing applications and conducting interviews, the Network will select two jurisdictions – states, territories, and/or large counties – and Network experts will provide in-depth support to each. The support will focus on goals identified by the lead agencies and their partners related to collaboration across government systems and nonprofit service providers, with the ultimate purpose of better serving all kinship families, whether they are involved in the child welfare system or not. The Network will help project teams collaborate effectively to address service barriers and leverage resources to maximize support of these families.  

Two selected sites will benefit from the expertise of the Network and its parent organization, Generations United, as well as the Network’s five partner agencies – the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), USAging, ZERO TO THREE, and Child Trends. For example, USAging can help you engage Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American Aging programs and NICWA can assist with building your jurisdiction’s capacity to collaborate with tribes. In addition to experts at the partner agencies, the Network has a cadre of subject matter experts to support you.

Work will begin by discussing your goals and co-developing an action plan for cross-system collaboration with the Network’s partners and subject matter experts. Taking a cross-systems approach and working toward your identified goals, the Network’s team will support each jurisdiction:

  • Optimize the effectiveness of your programs and services for kinship families, such as the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)/Native American Caregiver Support Program (NACSP) services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) supports, child welfare system services, and kinship navigator programs.
  • Implement diversity, equity, and inclusion practices with a focus on supporting kin caregivers and the children in their care who are Black, Indigenous, Latino, and/or living in underserved rural areas.
  • Amplify the voices of those with lived experience in a kinship family (lived experts) to shape programs, services, and systems.

Throughout the project, Child Trends will assess and evaluate the project. In year three, Network staff, with each site’s input and approval, will document the work we have done together as part of this project and elevate your site’s work so others can replicate it. You will receive national recognition as a jurisdiction that works across systems to support grandparents and other kin who raise children.

Please note the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), a Network partner, has a separate application to work with one tribe or tribal organization. That application is due March 18, 2024 and can be found here.

Criteria to Qualify:

  • Lead applicant must be a state, large county, or territorial government agency focused on an area or areas in our Network umbrella:
    • Aging
    • Child Welfare
    • Disability
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Nutrition
    • Medicaid/Medicare
    • TANF

Note that a large county, for the purposes of this application, is defined as a county that administers its own human services and has at least 500,000 residents.

  • Project team must be committed to cross-system partnerships and include at a minimum: two government agencies, one community-based nonprofit with jurisdiction-wide impact, and two lived experts.

Commitments from the Network:

  • Provide in-depth, ongoing assistance with the project free of charge from the nation’s leading kinship experts.
  • Designate a Network staff lead to serve as a point-of-contact for each selected site.
  • Facilitate monthly meetings and serve as a resource between meetings.
  • Provide on-site technical assistance up to two times per year, as coordinated with your schedules.
  • Provide compensation to lived experts who are part of the site teams for their expertise.

Expectations for your Team:

  • Commit to work for two years, starting in March 2024, with the Network to co-develop and implement an action plan to enhance services and supports for kinship families both inside and outside of the child welfare system. Each team member must:
    • Commit to actively participate in monthly meetings.
    • Act on identified tasks in preparation for each meeting.
  • Designate two staff members from each of the partner agencies to work on this effort. At least one of the two identified staff members from each agency must have decision-making authority to help implement the action plan.
  • Ensure that project team members participate in monthly meetings and act on identified tasks in preparation for each meeting.
  • Engage lived experts in meetings and ongoing work.
  • Collaborate with Child Trends to help assess and document site progress.

Application Launch, Process, and Timeline

The Network has a two-step selection process. NICWA will use a separate application process, in partnership with the Network, for tribes and tribal organizations that wish to be considered for this opportunity.

  • November 20, 2023: Application period opens.
  • November 30, 2023, 2 to 3 p.m. ET: Zoom information session for interested applicants, providing an opportunity to ask questions and gain clarity on the initiative. [This session has past. View the presentation and listen to the recorded session.]
  • January 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m. ET: Application period closes.
  • February 2024: Network staff will reach out to each lead agency that submits a complete application to schedule a 60-minute virtual interview.
  • March 2024: Network will notify applicants of decisions.

Interested applicants who have questions are strongly encouraged to attend the November 30th interest meeting or watch the recording. Interested applicants with additional questions are encouraged to reach out to Kylee Craggett, Network Technical Assistance Specialist, at

See More Upcoming Events

  • Conducting Culturally Responsive Evaluations

    Consider lessons learned in building a culturally responsive evaluation plan while conducting research in partnership with tribal communities under federal grant initiatives.

Related Topics