The Grand Voice
Fall 2019 
Vol. 3, Issue 3
Top Stories

On November 13, 2019, Generations United released the 2019 State of Grandfamilies Report, A Place to Call Home: Building Affordable Housing for Grandfamilies . We were delighted to release the report at Plaza West Grandfamilies Apartments in Washington, DC. GRAND Voice and Plaza West Resident Olivia Chase shared her moving story. You can read the event recap  and listen to our podcast episode on the report with our Executive Director Donna Butts, Special Adviser Ana Beltran, and Olivia Chase.

The Federal Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Advisory Council had its first meeting on August 28 and 29. A total of 13 caregivers and non-federal members were selected to join the council alongside 13 federal members. The Council, which was created by the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, is required to issue a report to Congress on effective supports and gaps in services grandfamilies. Congratulations to GRAND Voices Bette Hoxie, Sharon Olson, Gail Engel, Sarah Smalls and Sonya Begay who are serving as council members. Six members are serving on the council as caregivers, but many of the federal and non-federal members are caregivers as well. Jaia Lent is co-chairing the council which is being coordinated by the Administration for Community Living. Information from the first council meeting is available at the council website. The council is expected to issue a call for public input this fall. Stay tuned!



Grandfamilies in the News GFNews
Policy in Action PIA

The Family First Transition Act (S. 2777/H.R. 4980) was introduced by Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Wyden of the Senate Committee on Finance and Chairman Davis and Ranking Member Walorski of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support in the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill presents a bipartisan effort to help jurisdictions implement the Family First Prevention Services Act more effectively and would provide crucial resources to states and tribes. Generations United supports this bill.

Kinship Navigator Appropriations - Generations United is advocating for a third year $20 million appropriation to help states, territories and eligible tribes get kinship navigators up to evidence-based standards. Funds have been included in both the House and Senate bills to date.

The Older Americans Act reauthorization proposals include language removing the 10% cap for spending on grandfamilies under the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). The NFCSP provides funds to Area Agencies on Aging to provide a range of supports and services to family caregivers. Read more about intergenerational opportunities in the OAA. The bill has been passed through the House, but still needs to be passed by the Senate. We encourage you to reach out to your Senators about this bill.

Grand Voices on the Move GV
Our combined GRAND Voices Network now has 70 members representing 45 states and 11 tribes. Since the last newsletter we have welcomed Keith Lowhorne (AL) and Kathy Coleman (LA) to the network! Here are some additional highlights of GRAND Voices activities:  
  • Congratulations to GRAND Voices Sonya Begay, Gail Engel, Bette Hoxie, Sharon Olson, and Sarah Smalls who have been selected to serve on the Federal Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Advisory Council.
  • GRAND Voices Victoria Gray and Lynn Urvina attended the Casey Family Programs Leadership Retreat in August.
  • In September, GRAND Voice Robyn Wind (second from right in below photo)represented the network at the National Judicial Leadership Summit on Child Welfare in Minneapolis.
  • GRAND Voice Norma Hatfield attended the National Governors Association 2019 Human Services Policy Advisors Institute in Chicago.
  • Also in September, GRAND Voices Mercedes Bristol and Victoria Gray participated in filming with Casey Family Programs communications team in Seattle.
  • GRAND Voice Rosemary Nugent was awarded the Unsung Hero Award from the New Hampshire Children's Trust and shared her family's story on Generations United's recent webinar.
  • With Casey Family Programs support, GRAND Voice Sarah Smalls co-presented with our Ana Beltran and the ABA's Heidi Redlich Epstein to a meeting of Virginia's ongoing three branch approach to implementing the Family First Act. 
  • GRAND Voices Bette Hoxie and Lynn Urvina attended the Brookdale Conference in New Jersey where Generations United's Ana Beltran and Jaia Lent presented a key note on intergenerational shared sites and several workshops on grandfamilies resources and policy issues.
  • In late October, Generations United and Foster Kinship hosted "Helping the Children of the Opioid Crisis: Supporting Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Grandchildren" in Nevada. GRAND Voice Anntesha Chesterton presented at the event.
Jaia Lent, Birth Parent National Network Representative Diana Lewis, and GRAND Voice Anntesha Chesterton.

  • GRAND Voices Dolores Bryant, Lynn Urvina, and Victoria Gray traveled to Seattle for the Casey Family Programs Systems Improvement meeting.
  • On November 13, GRAND Voices Christine Benslimen, Olivia Chase, Glenda Clare, and Bette Hoxie attended the State of Grandfamilies Report Release Event.

  • GRAND Voice Gail Engel attended the Casey Family Programs Board of Trustees Meeting.
  • GRAND Voice Bob Ruble (left below) participated in the Family Voices United presentation at the Family Engagement Conference in San Diego.
Proven & Promising Programs PPP

GreyNickel Inc.

GRAND Voices Network Member Victoria Gray knows firsthand how difficult it can be to suddenly become responsible for your relative children. She's raised children as a mom, a grandma, a kinship caregiver and as a foster parent. 

That's why she founded GreyNickel Inc., a non-profit, works with newly formed kinship families. Through the non-profit, Victoria provides resources and support to many kinship families. Her model is unique and allows her to truly support these families. When she learns about a new kinship family, she visits them in the first 24-48 hours of their placement. She comes to their house with a chicken dinner, two cans of vegetables, freshly baked bread, a change of clothes for the kids, and cereal and milk for the next morning. Victoria listens to the caregiver and then talks with them about supports and resources that they might find helpful. She conducts five visits over the first four weeks of the placement. She helps them with their paperwork, making appointments with doctors and service providers, and coordinates getting the clothing and furniture they need to accommodate the children. At the last visit, she gives them a certificate for surviving the first four weeks and asks them if they would be interested in doing what she has done for them for other kinship families. Her work has been recognized by the state and they received a grant for a pilot program. They are currently waiting to hear back about continued funding for the program. Learn more about Victoria's wonderful program.

Do you have a program you would like us to consider featuring? Email Diane Roznowski at
Freshly-Baked Resources FBR

Generations United's recently hosted a webinar, Helping the Children of the Opioid Crisis: Supporting Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children. You can find the webinar recording and PowerPoint slides at and .
Children's Defense Fund, American Academy of Pediatrics, ChildFocus, FosterClub, Generations United, Juvenile Law Center, and National Indian Child Welfare Association recently released Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act  a detailed question-and-answer-style resource containing commonly (and not-so-commonly) asked questions about the many important provisions in FFPSA.
Child Trends released a new brief Applying the Research and Evaluation Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act that outlines the research and evaluation requirements and highlights next steps for state agencies, legislators, and researchers to achieve the Family First Act's goals.
Listen to the Family Voices United Podcast: Family Voices United members share about topics that impact families. Learn how constituents are taking action, getting involved, and building the movement! 

The Generations United Podcast launched earlier this year! Podcast host Donna Butts chats with luminaries in the intergenerational field.  Tune in  to learn how to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational relationships.
The Chronicle of Social Change recently launched Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families . The initiative collects data directly from each state and combines that with specially obtained federal reports to determine how many children are in foster care and where they are living. This year the data suggests that nationwide, the number of youth in care is going down, and the number of foster homes is going up. But there are plenty of states still struggling with capacity, support of relatives, and racial disparity. You can read more about this here and here .

Grand Voice is a e-resource for grandfamily advocates and their allies distributed by Generations United's National Center on Grandfamilies. Grand Voice seeks to highlight key resources, policy updates, action opportunities, and program highlights to inspire and improve services and supports to grandfamilies across the U.S. Sign up for Generations United's weekly e-newsletter, Generations This Week .

Do you have something you want to have considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue of the Grand Voice? Please contact Diane Roznowski a