Why a Technical Assistance Center?
The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center (Network) helps state, tribal, and territorial government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and kinship navigator programs holistically work across systemic and geographic boundaries to better support grandparents, other relatives, and close family friends and the children they raise.
We do not serve grandfamilies or kinship families directly, because communities are better equipped to do that. They know their family laws and support programs best. While we do not help the families with their individual cases, kin/grandfamily caregivers are at the core of all we do, guiding and informing us.
Our aim is to help agencies and kinship programs learn from other innovations around the country and work collaboratively to better support these families now and into the future.
History and Purpose of this Approach
Generations United has been working to support grandfamilies and kinship families for over 25 years. Going into states and counties around the country, we have routinely seen agencies operating in siloes that limit their ability to support the families. For example, child welfare often does not know that there are programs within aging that can help the families, and vice versa. And aging and child welfare are just two systems. There are at least six others– disability, education, housing, nutrition, Medicaid/Medicare, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – that are important to the families. These systems may not see the caregivers as part of “grandfamilies” or “kinship families” and, consequently, they may not know to connect the families to other supports, like a Kinship Navigator Program.
Congress and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services saw similar challenges and responded accordingly. In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act appropriated $10 million over five years for the first-ever national technical assistance center on grandfamilies and kinship families. After a competitive process through ACL, Generations United was awarded the cooperative agreement to help systems better serve the families. Learn more about what we do at the Network.
If you work for a relevant government agency in a state, tribe, or territory; are a kinship navigator; or support the families through a nonprofit organization, please join us by signing up to access all our offerings, free of charge.
The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $9,950,000 with 95 percentage funded by ACL/HHS and $523,684 and 5 percentage funded by non-government sources. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.