The Network Connection

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 10 | JULY 2023

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

This month, we’re acknowledging National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, promoting an upcoming webinar, sharing four new resources from the Network, and highlighting other information and opportunities from around the field. Please read on for more information.

Please share your latest resources, news articles/blog posts, upcoming events, and other highlights with us. They may be featured in our next newsletter! All of our previous newsletters are now linked on our website, so you can access them anytime.

Register for Our Next Webinar!

Calendar page showing TUESDAY Sept. 12

Improving Your Results in Kin-Finding and Placement

This webinar, taking place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 12, will feature Network Subject Matter Expert Marina Nitze, who will debut the Kin-Finding Toolkit, featuring promising practices that have been helping child welfare agencies across the country to increase their kin placement rates. Every highlighted practice will be accompanied by the real-world tools necessary to its implementation, such as sample policy language and forms.

Register for September 12

What's New From the Network?

Relevant Trainings for Kin Caregivers and Those Who Work with Them

After receiving a few requests for individual technical assistance related to kin caregiver trainings, one of our technical assistance specialists, Shalah Bottoms, created this resource to help professionals guide caregivers to trainings.

A white granddaughter, grandmother, and grandfather sit at a table together and smile as they color. The child is in the grandmother's lap and they are smiling at each other
Access This Resource
A photo of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina appears above the seal of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the NICWA logo

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians GrandFacts Fact Sheet

Our partners at the National Indian Child Welfare Association have prepared another tribal fact sheet, and we have added it to the GrandFacts Fact Sheet page of our website. The fact sheet focuses on programs and services available from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and it is full of information and links that will be useful to kinship/grandfamilies and the professionals who work with them.

Access the Fact Sheet

Black Kinship Families – Identifying Needs and Challenges

This video resource is part two of a series of videos from our partner, the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCBA), and it features a conversation between Karyne Jones, President and CEO of NCBA, and Dr. LaShawnDa L. Pittman, Associate Professor of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington.

Screenshots of Karyne Jones and Dr. LaShawnDa L. Pittman
Access the Video and Associated Resources
A Latina grandmother and granddaughter embrace

Monthly Resource: Finding Program Funding

Our monthly two-pager for July focuses on finding and securing appropriate grants and in-kind support for your work. As always, this short resource includes links to additional information. We are grateful to our partners at ZERO TO THREE for their leadership in producing these monthly resources.

Access the July Resource

Share This!

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

This month, we're promoting our website and all of our new resources.

Have you visited recently?

The @GensUnited Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is always adding new #kinship resources! The resource library contains tip sheets, videos, data, and more to help you better serve kin #caregivers and #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).

Individual Technical Assistance Spotlight

The Network is responding free of charge to individual technical assistance (TA) requests from professionals who work in systems and organizations that serve kinship/grandfamilies. To date, we have responded to TA requests from 47 states and territories.

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

To request assistance on the array of issues impacting kinship/grandfamilies, please complete our technical assistance request form.

Here is an example TA request and response.


I serve kinship families with school-related concerns. They often face barriers with enrollment and signing paperwork. What can I do to help kin caregivers in the education system?


The challenges kin caregivers encounter in the education system may vary based on factors like the state in which they live and the caregiver’s relationship to the child. In many states, professionals working with kin caregivers utilize the federal McKinney Vento Act to help “unaccompanied” children who are not in foster care and are being raised by kin caregivers who lack a legal relationship to a child. Through that Act, children and caregivers can overcome some of the barriers they face, such as school enrollment and transportation. Gaining the authority to sign school-related paperwork, such as Individualized Education Plans, may be more difficult to accomplish. In these circumstances, establishing a legal relationship to the child would be helpful.

Last year, the Network held regional kinship convenings and learned how Washington uses McKinney Vento to support kinship families. Our two-page tip sheet, “Supporting Educational Access for Kinship/Grandfamilies,” also provides information and links to additional guidance. 

To make an individual request, please complete this form and we will get in touch.

Presentations About the Network

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

On Wednesday, September 13, Network Technical Assistance Specialist Shalah Bottoms will present “Practices and Resources for Serving Kinship Families” at the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance’s Child Abuse Prevention Symposium.

On Tuesday, September 19, Network Director Ana Beltran will be on the Kinship Standards Panel at the 2023 NARA Annual Licensing Seminar. NARA is the National Association for Regulatory Administration, a membership organization of foster care and other licensors.

Kylee Craggett poses behind a table of Network information and resources

We have been enjoying the opportunity to meet many of you at the USAging Conference and Tradeshow in Salt Lake City! After helping to lead USAging's first-ever pre-conference intensive on kinship families this past Sunday, our staff have been taking time to learn and sharing resources through our exhibit. The friendly face at our table is Network Technical Assistance Specialist Kylee Craggett.

What's New Around the Network?

A stylized icon of two people forming the trunk of a family tree above an icon of a loving home (a heart and a house)

Kinship Assessment Webinar and Tool

ABA Center on Children and the Law and Generations United, in partnership with Casey Family Programs

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

3:00 p.m. ET

Attend this webinar to learn how to use the new Kinship Assessment Tool, which was developed by Network Subject Matter Experts Heidi Redlich Epstein and Emily Peeler, both of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and Network Director Ana Beltran, of Generations United, in partnership with Casey Family Programs. The tool aims to help child welfare agencies assess their current efforts and identify opportunities to become a kin-first agency.

Register for the Webinar
Access the Tool through the Network Website

Advancing Equity in Aging Funding Opportunity

NextFifty Initiative

Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Through this funding opportunity, NextFifty Initiative aims to provide financial support to nonprofit organizations (excluding universities) and government agencies that serve and/or seek to serve historically marginalized communities. Grants will provide flexible dollars to improve the lives of marginalized older adults by supporting healthy aging; improving access to care and support; and/or addressing ageism, racism, and systemic inequities. The maximum request is $100,000. Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with a staff member prior to applying. Call 303-547-1800 or email to schedule a meeting.

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Learn More and Apply
An oval containing icons for child welfare, police, justice/prosecution, medical care, mental health care, and support/advocacy

Awards to Expand Children’s Advocacy Centers in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

National Children’s Alliance

Application Deadline: Thursday, August 31, 2023

The National Children’s Alliance is a nonprofit membership organization and accrediting body for the nation’s Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). A CAC is a child-friendly facility in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical, and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable. Awards of up to $150,000 seek to increase and improve access to high-quality CAC services for children and families in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Learn More and Apply

News to Know

“It's a Grand Life” Interviews with Gail Engel

Gail Engel is a grandmother raising her grandson, a Network subject matter expert, a member of our management committee, and a Generations United GRAND Voice. She is a tireless advocate for grandfamilies, and she recently appeared on two episodes of the YouTube video/podcast series “It’s a Grand Life.” Check out both of her episodes (one and two) to learn more about one of our rockstars.

Abigail Seymour Helps Families Recover: Focus on Children Growing Up During Opioid Crisis

USA Today, June 2, 2023

This article profiles Abigail C. Seymour and her North Carolina law practice, Camino Law. It notes that “the firm has discovered a particular need for aiding grandparents and other family members in acquiring custody of a child grappling with the impacts of a parent’s substance use disorder.” The piece shares both Seymour’s story and her commitment to making her practice a welcoming place for families and “a haven for attorneys intent on practicing law with a child-centric focus.”

The Indian Health Service Has Launched a New Nutrition Website

Visit for information on topics such as food and nutrition security, food sovereignty, the Produce Prescription Pilot Program, and nutrition in different life stages.

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Generations United is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information, read our full statement.

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.

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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.