The Network Connection

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 9 | JUNE 2023

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

This month, we’re sharing information and registration links for two upcoming webinars, announcing two 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 Two Webinars!

Calendar page showing MONDAY July 17

Building Evidence of Success for Kinship Programs: Tips and Strategies

This webinar, taking place from 2:00 p.m. ET to 3:30 p.m. ET on Monday, July 17, will be led by Network Subject Matter Expert Angelique Day, PhD, and Berenice Rushovich, MSW, of Child Trends, one of the Network’s managing partners. During the webinar, we will explore the foundational principles and strategies that nonprofit organizations and government agencies may use to demonstrate the success of their kinship programs.

Register for July 17
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?

Monthly Resource: Navigating the Relationship with Your Adult Child

Our June two-pager provides quick tips for navigating both the feelings and the logistics of raising a grandchild. You can share this resource with the grandparents you serve, and, if you are interested in learning more about how to support these grandparents, consult the resource for links to additional information and learning opportunities. We are grateful to our partners at ZERO TO THREE for their leadership in producing these monthly resources and to Network Subject Matter Expert Dr. Joseph Crumbley, whose wisdom is infused throughout the resource and who provided a valuable review of its contents.

A grandfather and grandson of Asian descent sit under a large evergreen tree and smile at each other. Each has a book in his hand.
Access the June Resource
A Black grandmother sits and holds her young grandchild on the couch.

Caring for a Child Impacted by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

This resource, adapted from an original resource by our partners at ZERO TO THREE, starts by explaining what Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is and listing health and developmental signs and symptoms of FASD. Then, it provides tips to help kin/grandfamily caregivers support a child with FASD with early learning, promote their social-emotional skills, and help them regulate their emotions. The resource concludes with a few tips to help caregivers care for themselves. Written for caregivers, this resource can be shared directly with the families you serve. We thank Network Subject Matter Expert and Management Committee Member Gail Engel, a Generations United GRAND Voice, for her skilled and thorough review of this piece.


Share This!

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

WEBINAR "Building Evidence of Success for Kinship Programs: Tips and Strategies" Monday, July 17, 2 p.m. ET; Headshots and labels for Angelique Day, PhD and Berenice Rushovich, MSW

This month, we're promoting our July webinar.

The @GensUnited Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is hosting a #webinar to explore the principles and strategies that nonprofits and government agencies may use to demonstrate the success of their #kinship programs


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 visual 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 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.

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.


Would you please share some tips on beginning the conversation with a kin caregiver who has reached out for support?


Our subject matter expert, Dr. Joseph Crumbley, recommends starting a conversation with these questions:

  • How did you become a kin caregiver?
  • What circumstances led to you becoming a caregiver?
  • What made you decide to become a caregiver?
  • How has it changed your life?
  • How have you adjusted to the changes?
  • Were you prepared to become a caregiver?
  • Do you have a support system (i.e., friends, groups, respite)?

These types of assessment questions give you a context and history for the support the caregiver is requesting.

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

USAging’s Leland Kiang and Ana will be presenting a three-hour preconference intensive together on Sunday, July 16, along with representatives from Area Agencies on Aging, as part of USAging's 48th Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On September 23, Shalah Bottoms, one of our technical assistance specialists, will present “Practices and Resources for Serving Kinship Families” at the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance’s Child Abuse Prevention Symposium.

What's New Around the Network?

Reminders and Updates

We are resharing information about two funding opportunities that we originally shared in March. The deadline for one is coming up this week, and the other was merely forecasted at the time we first shared it and is now active.

Proposals for funding from The Brookdale Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) are due this Thursday, June 22, 2023. RAPP aims to develop or expand services for kinship/grandfamilies. Public state agencies and nonprofit organizations from across the United States are eligible to apply. Each selected entity will receive a seed grant of $30,000 ($20,000 year one and $10,000 year two), contingent on progress made during year one and potential for continuity in the future. States must match the seed grant 100% in cash or in-kind.

Local and Regional Application 

Local and Regional Guidelines Word Document 

Local and Regional Guidelines PDF

State Application

State Guidelines Word Document

State Guidelines PDF

The Children's Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF), has announced that applications to the Field-Initiated Approach to Addressing Racial Bias and Inequity in Child Welfare funding opportunity are due by Monday, July 31, 2023. ACF plans to award eight cooperative agreements of $400,000 to $500,000 to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of field-initiated approaches to addressing racial bias and inequity in child welfare and improving the safety, stability, and well-being of families in traditionally underserved communities.

Learn More and Apply

One individual helps another individual over a pile of paperwork with speech bubbles in multiple languages

Webinar: Access to SSI – Improving Language Access for SSI and Social Security Beneficiaries

Justice in Aging

Thursday, June 22, 2023

2:00 p.m. ET to 2:45 p.m. ET

The complex and paperwork-intensive process of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security disability benefits can be daunting for everyone, and individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) can face an additional barrier. This webinar will provide a brief outline of how language access works for SSI and Social Security applicants and beneficiaries, and it will offer specific proposals to reduce barriers to access in this area. The webinar expands on an issue brief on this topic that Justice in Aging released last fall.

Register Today

Input Needed: Proposed Update to Older Americans Act Program Regulations

Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Older Americans Act (OAA) is an important source of support and services for grandparents and other relatives raising children whose parents cannot raise them. The regulations concerning the OAA have not been updated since 1988, before the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) became law. As a result, for over 20 years, there have been no regulations to help guide implementation of the NFCSP and its five categories of supportive services for family caregivers of older adults and grandparents and other relatives age 55 and older raising children. There are now proposed rules about this important program, along with updates to other services under the OAA, and the Administration for Community Living is asking for your feedback.

Instructions for submitting comments on the proposed rule can be found in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 15, 2023.

An informational webinar will be held on Thursday, June 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET. For more information, please see the Zoom registration page.

Speech bubbles with lines of comments are collected
A school building with icons representing physical health care (including dental care and vision care), mental health care, disability services, nutrition, and legal services

Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) Program Funding Opportunity

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE): School Choice & Improvement Program (SCIP), U.S. Department of Education

Notice of Intent to Apply Due By Friday, July 7, 2023

This grant will provide awards of $75,000 to $50 million to support the planning, implementation, and operation of full-service community schools that improve services for children and families, particularly for children attending high-poverty schools. Eligible applicants must be a consortium of (a) one or more local educational agencies or the Bureau of Indian Education AND (b) one or more community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or other public or private entities.

Learn More and Apply

Delivering Services in School-Based Settings: A Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This resource aims to support partnerships between state Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies and state educational agencies in order to promote the provision of school-based health care services to children and adolescents. In the United States, over 57 percent of all children are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, including many children in kinship families. Providing school-based services can help children and families access important medical care.  

A school building with icons of a prescription and prescription bill bottle, a stethoscope, mental health care, an injection, dental care, and an eye exam
Review the PDF
Icons representing collaboration and evaluation

Prevention Services Evaluation Partnerships: Building Evidence for Mental Health, Substance Use, In-home Parent Skill-based, and Kinship Navigator Programs and Services Funding Opportunity

Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children & Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Applications Due By Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Through this program, OPRE expects to award 12 cooperative agreements of $250,000 to $1.5 million. Each award will support evaluations of a mental health, substance abuse prevention and/or treatment, in-home parent skill-based, or kinship navigator program or service. The grants will support collaborations among evaluators and partnering Title IV-E agencies, community entities, and/or other researchers.

Learn More and Apply

Federal Government Emphasizing the Importance of Working with Those with Lived Experience

This year, at least two offices in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have released resources related to engaging people with lived experience. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a five-page issue brief that contrasts equitable and inequitable engagement practices and offers tips to help agencies and organizations improve. The Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation released a toolkit called “Elevating Family Input in TANF and Child Support Programs: Resources for Program Staff, Leaders, and Families.” The expansive document provides guidance, real-world examples, and resources to help TANF and child support programs engage the families they serve in improving service delivery, policy, and program operations.

We also have a resource on this important topic: “Tips to Include Kinship/Grandfamilies in Programmatic Decision-Making.”

Three figures with speech bubbles, one with an "x," one with lines of comments, and one with a check mark, respond a figure with a speech bubble with a question mark. Arrows between the commenting group and the person asking the question indicate that this is a process.
A graphic of a sun

Bringing Kinship Care Out of the Shadows

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

In a new brief, Chapin Hall Policy Analyst Stephanie Armendariz compiled key definitions and evidence to better clarify kinship practices and developed a list of recommendations for those who are deciding how to explore, make meaning of, and implement changes to child welfare agencies’ kinship diversion practices.

Learn More and Download the Brief

News to Know

Indian Child Welfare Act Survives U.S. Supreme Court Challenge!

After more than 40 years as the gold standard of federal child welfare law, recent lawsuits seriously threatened the existence of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1978 law, thereby affirming the importance of keeping children connected to their tribes, their families, their culture, and their communities. Congratulations to our partners at the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) for all their important ICWA work over the decades! In addition to the press release from NICWA that is linked in the headline above, we encourage you to read this blog post from Generations United that celebrates the decision.

Colorado Approved to Claim Federal Child Welfare Funds for its Kinship Navigator Program and Two Other Programs Will Receive Reviews

On Thursday, May 18, Colorado became the second state (after Ohio) to be approved to claim federal child welfare funds, known as Title IV-E, for its kinship navigator programming. To access Title IV-E support, a kinship navigator program must first be approved by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse as meeting evidence-based standards, and then each approved program must amend their “Title IV-E Plan” and “cost-allocation.” Arizona's and Nevada’s kinship navigator programs have also been approved by the Clearinghouse and are likely in the process of taking these additional steps. We will let you know when they are also approved to claim the federal funds. Other states can follow any of these four models with fidelity, submit for approval a Title IV-E plan attachment to the Children's Bureau, following the guidance provided in ACYF-CB-PI-18-11 and a revised "cost allocation," and also draw down IV-E funds to support a kinship navigator program.

As of June 5, two more kinship navigator program models are in line to be reviewed by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse: A Second Chance, Inc.’s Kinship Navigator Program in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and Washington State’s Kinship Navigator Program. Washington State’s program serves kinship/grandfamilies both inside and outside the child welfare system and is one of the oldest navigator programs in the country. Their leaders presented to the Network during last summer’s regional convening. See for more information. 

Newly Released Decennial Census Data

After the May newsletter appeared in your inbox, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data from the 2020 Decennial Census and posted it at The “grandchild” line of Table P17 – Household Type provides the number of grandchildren who are living in a home that is owned or rented by their grandparents. Table PCT14 – Presence of Multigenerational Households provides the number of households with three or more generations living together. Households that have a "skipped" generation are also included in the definition of multigenerational households -- for example, the household could consist of great granddad, grandma, and grandchild, but not the grandchild’s parent. Because both of these tables come from the Decennial Census, the data is available at low levels of geography that may not be available for other data products, so you should be able to get data for your community.  

While kinship families and grandfamilies can be found among multigenerational households and some children in kinship/grandfamilies may be represented in the “grandchild” line, we do not use these two tables to represent kinship/grandfamilies. Neither table is precise as to who is raising or responsible for the child.

The Decennial Census does not ask grandparents if they are responsible for their grandchildren. That question, however, is asked yearly through the American Community Survey. The most recent year for that data is 2021; data from 2022 will be released in September. See the Network’s data page for more information about available data specific to kinship families and grandfamilies. 

For reminders, updates, and additional information throughout the month, follow Generations United on social media!

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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 [email protected].

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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.