The Network Connection

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 4 | JANUARY 2023


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Logo of the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center

This month, we’re sharing a new fact sheet, webinar recording, and collection of presentation slides on Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Programs serving kinship/grandfamilies, all completed in partnership with USAging; a new Network two-pager on supporting families with access to education; and several highlights from around the Network. Please read on for more information.


Please share your latest news, upcoming events, and highlights with us. They may be featured in our next newsletter!

Register for Our Next Webinar!

Headshot of Dr. Joseph Crumbley

We invite you to join us for our next webinar on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.


The title of the webinar is "The Unique Dynamics of Co-Parenting in Kinship Families," and our speaker will be Dr. Joseph Crumbley.

REGISTER

What's New From the Network?

Photo of a white grandmother and grandson facing each other and smiling, with arms around each other's shoulders. The grandfather is in the background.

Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Programs Fact Sheet


Our partners at USAging conducted a topical poll of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Programs, and we worked together to produce a fact sheet that provides an overview of the results. The fact sheet includes information on services provided to kinship/grandfamilies, referral partners, and challenges.


Access the fact sheet in English and en español.


USAging has completed a longer report on this topic, and it will be posted online, in English and Spanish, soon!

Monthly Resource:

Supporting Educational Access for Kinship/Grandfamilies


Our January two-pager, "Supporting Educational Access for Kinship/Grandfamilies," focuses on education and special education and is intended to provide background information and resources to professionals who are helping kinship/ grandfamilies. We are grateful to our partners at ZERO TO THREE for their leadership in producing these monthly resources.

A Black grandmother looks over her granddaughter's shoulder as her granddaughter works on homework. Below, it says "NEW RESOURCE!"
Headshots of six people

Webinar Recording and Slides


Last week, we hosted an informative webinar with USAging, “The Important Role of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Programs in Serving Kinship/Grandfamilies: Research, Resources, and Strategies for Success.” The event page for the webinar on our website now includes links to the webinar recording, the presentation slides, and more. Thank you to our presenters (pictured clockwise from top left corner): Leland Kiang, Program Manager at USAging overseeing USAging’s role in the Network; Ana Beltran, Network Director; Arcelia Armstrong, Coordinator, Caregiver Support Program and Kinship Navigator Program, Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio; Theresa Jorgensen, Caregiver Support Services Manager, Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability; Pam Plimpton, Intergenerational Coordinator, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Aging & Independence Services; and Marsha Rose, Kinship Navigator Program Supervisor, Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio.

Share This!

In this monthly section, we'll share a tweet or other small bit of information that you can easily copy and share.

At the top, it says, "NEW RESOURCE." Then, there is a photo of a Black grandmother looking over her granddaughter's shoulder as her granddaughter works on homework. Below, it says "Supporting Educational Access for Kinship/Grandfamilies"

This month, we're promoting our January two-pager on education:


Looking for background information and resources to help kinship/grandfamilies with school enrollment and with services for children and youth with special needs? Check out the @GensUnited Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network two-pager on this topic: https://www.gksnetwork.org/resources/supporting-educational-access-for-kinship-grandfamilies/.


This draft is styled for Twitter; for other social media platforms and newsletters, please tag/mention Generations United and use the full name of the Network (Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center).


The graphic can be copied and included in your promotion. If you use the graphic, please be sure to add alternative text so that people with disabilities have equal access to the content of the graphic.

Individual Technical Assistance Spotlight

An orange icon with two speech bubbles. The first speech bubble contains a question mark and the second contains a check mark.

The Network is accepting individual technical assistance (TA) requests from professionals who work in systems and organizations that serve kinship/grandfamilies.


To request TA, please complete our Technical Assistance Request Form.

Here's an example TA request and response.


Request

I’m the founder of a nonprofit providing support and assistance to kinship/grandfamilies. I’m looking for tools and resources when assistance is needed in accessing benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Do you have information or guidance that we can share with families we serve? 


Response

On our website, you can find GrandFacts fact sheets for each state, DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Each fact sheet is full of important information and organizations that serve grandparents and other relative caregivers. Thanks to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, two Tribal GrandFacts fact sheets are coming this Spring.


In November 2022, the Network hosted a webinar on Legal Relationships and Public Benefits. In this webinar, Ana Beltran, the director of the Network, and Heidi Redlich Epstein, Network subject matter expert and director of Kinship Policy and State Projects at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, discussed general information about TANF and other benefits and shared a template that states can use to create a chart comparing TANF benefits for families involved in child welfare versus those who are not involved.


Lastly, check out the SNAP fact sheet and other resources on the Network website, www.GKSNetwork.org

Upcoming Presentations About the Network

Leland Kiang, the program manager at USAging overseeing USAging’s role in the Network, and Ana Beltran, the director of the Network, will be presenting at the American Society on Aging conference in Atlanta. Their presentation is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Please let us know if you’ll be there!

A stick figure stands and points to a presentation easel with the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network icon on it

What's New Around the Network?

The cover photos from the tip sheets for serving American Indian & Alaska Native, Latino, and African American grandfamilies

Racial Equity Tip Sheets


Generations United


With support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Generations United is pleased to share a new series of tip sheets to accompany the previously published racial equity toolkits. These tools are designed to help professionals serving grandfamilies provide culturally appropriate services.




Apply for Technical Assistance on Translating "Kin-First" Commitments to Practice


Applications are due by 5 p.m. PT TODAY (The application is intended to take no more than 30 to 60 minutes.)


Child & Family Wellbeing Accelerator, Government Performance Lab, Harvard Kennedy School


State and local governments across the country are reimagining the way they support children and families, redirecting resources towards preventative investments designed to help minimize the use of punitive government responses such as child protection investigations or removals and the potential harm of those interventions for families in crisis. To help accelerate implementation efforts, the Government Performance Lab is offering 10 months of technical assistance to a select number of state and local jurisdictions across two topics, one of which is “Translating ‘kin-first’ commitments to practice.”

The words "LAST CHANCE!" appear above three images. The top image is of a Native woman holding a young child in her arms and smiling, with the child smiling at the camera. The next image is a Black grandmother and grandfather sitting on a couch, with their granddaughter and grandson standing and sitting behind them and all four smiling at each other. The last image is of a white grandmother and grandfather hugging their teenage granddaughter, with all three smiling broadly.
Learn More and Apply
A white grandmother holds her young grandchild in her lap as they interact with a tablet. The grandfather leans over the grandmother's shoulder and participates in the tablet interaction.

Guide to Creating a Family-Friendly Child Care Assistance Application


Child Care Technical Assistance Network, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


The Office of Child Care is committed to reducing the burden on families applying for Child Care Development and Fund child care assistance. This guide can help Lead Agencies revise the content and format of applications to make them simpler for families.

Access the Guide

41st Annual Protecting Our Children Conference


National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)


April 2-5, 2023


The theme of the conference is “Healing Our Spirits: Nurturing and Restoring Hope.” This event, held in Reno, Nevada, will bring together diverse and influential stakeholders, making it the preeminent conference on addressing the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children. Attendees comprise a cross-section of experts, including child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice service providers; legal professionals; advocates for children; and tribal and federal leaders. Exhibitor and attendee registration is now open. Register by March 1 to receive the early-bird rate. Existing NICWA members receive a discounted rate, and all registrants automatically receive a year-long membership.

The NICWA Conference graphic, showing a Native woman, baby, and young child, with symbols around them
NICWA logo
Learn More and Register
The Relative Caregiver Program Flyer from Tennessee

Relative Caregiver Program Update


Tennessee Department of Children’s Services


The Relative Caregiver Program in Tennessee is pleased to announce an enhancement to their program! As a result of a new law in Tennessee, qualifying relative caregivers who are caring for children outside of child welfare custody and have been awarded custody by court order are now eligible for a monthly stipend that is half of the foster care board rate. The program will also continue to provide support and services to relative caregivers who are raising children, as they have for many years.

Learn More About the Program

News to Know

Supporting Grandparents Who Are Parenting

October 12, 2022, by Dexa Sanghvi, MSW


“Since 2009, I have been honored and excited to offer monthly meetings for older adults raising children. I have learned so much from this group of special people. Some continue to attend through this day, alongside new grandparents who have also joined the group. Their consistent attendance validates that sharing ideas, learning from others’ experiences, meeting others, and bonding with them over the similar challenges and relationships they face has been significantly comforting to them.”


USDA and Social Security Administration Collaborate to Improve Nutrition Security through SNAP

December 8, 2022


“The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) today announced a strengthened partnership to help connect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. USDA and SSA’s new joint agreement, or memorandum of understanding, will improve efficiency, helping to advance food and nutrition security and reduce the hurdles families face to obtain the government assistance they need.”


HHS Offers States Flexibility to Address Medicaid Enrollees’ Needs

January 4, 2023


“Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is releasing guidance on an innovative opportunity for states to address health-related social needs for people with Medicaid coverage through the use of ‘in lieu of services and settings’ in Medicaid managed care. This option will help states offer alternative benefits that take aim at a range of unmet health-related social needs, such as housing instability and food insecurity, to help enrollees maintain their coverage and to improve their health outcomes.”


To read the letter sent to State Medicaid Directors, click here.


HHS Awards Nearly $245 Million to Support Youth Mental Health and Help the Health Care Workforce Meet Families’ Mental Health Needs

January 9, 2023


Click on the title above to access the press release and learn more about the awards. Many of the awards involve collaboration within or across sectors and/or emphasize treatment and services for trauma.


The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is the first-ever national technical assistance center for those who serve grandfamilies and kinship families. It was created to help guide lasting, systemic reforms. The Network is a new way to collaborate, to work across jurisdictional and systemic boundaries, to eliminate silos, and to help one another and be helped in return. Thank you for being part of it.


We'd love to hear from you! Please send any feedback on this newsletter to mweiss@gu.org.



Generations United Logo


The 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.