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Kinship/Grandfamily Provider Resource Guide

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Older adult couple smiling and showing a baby sitting in their lap a stuffed animal.
The logos of the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network and USAging

The 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers provides a roadmap for organizations and agencies to better support kin/grandfamily caregivers and the children they raise.

Kin caregivers, also called grandfamily caregivers, are grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends raising children as a result of parental death, substance use, military deployment, incarceration, or other issues. The families they form are interchangeably known as kinship families, grandfamilies, and kinship/grandfamilies.

While many of these caregivers do not see themselves in the names “kinship” or “grandfamilies,” they are doing the important job of raising children when parents cannot. We all likely know such a family because these parental issues touch every socioeconomic level, race, ethnicity, and geographic area in the country. At least 2.4 million children are being raised in these families across the United States.

Many challenges faced by kinship/grandfamilies can be similar to those faced by parent-headed families, but there are two fundamental differences between these families. Unlike parents, who have automatic legal rights and responsibilities for their children, kin/grandfamily caregivers do not. Moreover, they did not plan or expect to raise these children. They often step up to raise children at a moment’s notice – sometimes in the middle of the night – and usually due to a family crisis. Despite these challenges, decades of research prove that there are many benefits to these children being raised by kin, rather than by caregivers who do not know them, their culture, or their roots. 

To help you support these families, acknowledge their strengths, and address their challenges, this guide contains links to an array of resources for you as a service provider. In many cases, you can share the resources with the caregivers themselves.

Resources to Increase Public Awareness About Kinship/Grandfamilies

Resources for Engaging and Partnering with Kinship/Grandfamilies

Resources for Finding and/or Providing Supportive Services for Kinship/Grandfamilies

Resources for Supporting Kinship/Grandfamily Financial and Food Security

Resources for Building Evidence to Support Kinship/Grandfamilies

The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network and its partner USAging offer no-cost assistance to state, tribal, and territorial government agencies and nonprofits to help them better serve kinship/grandfamilies. Access tip sheets, webinar recordings, and more, all free of charge, at Request no-cost assistance here.

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