The Network Connection

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 8 | MAY 2023

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

This month, we’re sharing an upcoming webinar, introducing a new member of our team, debuting two new resources from the Network, and highlighting other information and opportunities from around the field. Please read on for more information.

It’s National Foster Care Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Older Americans Month, and National Adolescent Health Month™. Each of the pages linked in the previous sentence includes information to help you and your agency/organization mark the occasion.

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 June 13

Identifying and Engaging Untapped Partners to Support Kinship Families

A panel of leaders will discuss how and why their organizations became involved in kinship work and provide strategies for approaching potential new collaborators.

Headshots of Dr. Anita Rogers, Beth Lindley, Andrew Russo, and David Sherman


2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET


Dr. Anita Rogers


  • Beth A. Lindley, Director, Kinship Care Resource Center: A Michigan State University School of Social Work Community Program
  • Andrew Russo, M.A., Co-Founder & Director, National Family Support Network
  • David Sherman, CEO, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Mountain Region
Register Now!

What's New From the Network?

Kylee Craggett headshot

Introducing Kylee Craggett!

Our team has grown! Kylee Craggett, our new technical assistance specialist, joined our existing technical assistance specialist, Shalah Bottoms, earlier this month. Kylee brings a wealth of kinship experience, and we are so excited to have her on our team. If you ever have a question on anything related to kinship/grandfamilies, we encourage you to submit this form to get help from Shalah or Kylee and our cadre of partners and subject matter experts.

Learn More About Kylee

Monthly Resource: Connecting with Families in Black and Indigenous Communities

Our May two-pager provides quick tips for engaging with Black and Native families, with short answers to a few key questions that can have a big impact on interactions with families. 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 in consultation with esteemed experts and to our partners at the National Indian Child Welfare Association for their review of this resource.

At the top (and to the right), a Black grandmother smiles as her young grandchild kisses her cheek. Below (and to the left), a Native grandmother holds and cuddles her baby grandchild as the baby looks right at the camera.
Access the May Resource
A white grandmother sits on a couch and smiles at her teenage or young adult granddaughter, who is leaning over the back of the couch, embracing her grandmother, and smiling at her.

Aging Network Services and Supports for Kin/Grandfamily Caregivers

This new fact sheet, created with our partners at USAging, is for professionals who do not work within the Aging Network. The resource explains what the Aging Network is and lists services and supports that are commonly available through it. The goal is to help you better understand the Aging Network, find programs near you, and reach out to learn about making referrals and to begin to form partnerships. A Spanish version of this resource is coming soon!

Check Out This 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 language for LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram on the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers and a recent article that highlighted it. Feel free to add your own line about how you're working to support family caregivers!

Check out this article from Next Avenue! It features quotes from the Administration for Community Living’s Greg Link. Speaking about family caregivers and the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, Link noted, “We know their needs and situations better than ever before, so I think the strategy will just help us set a course for developing that as we move forward.”

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.


I’m looking for more demographic information on kinship families so my organization can improve outreach and services.


While data on kinship families is limited, the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network website,, has a page about accessing data. Here you will find links and information about data tables on children in kinship/grandfamilies, grandchildren raised by grandparents, grandparents raising grandchildren, and children in kinship foster care. More data is available on grandparents and the grandchildren they raise than on children raised by other kin. The tables can be filtered by geography by selecting a state and county.

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

Network Subject Matter Experts Sarah Smalls and Tyreasa Washington, PhD, LCSW, will be on a panel with Network Director Ana Beltran during the Family Focused Treatment Association’s 19th Annual Public Policy and Advocacy Institute, an in-person event in Washington, DC. The discussion, “Kinship Panel-State & Local Perspectives,” will take place on Tuesday, May 23.

USAging's Leland Kiang and Ana will be presenting at the AmeriCorps Seniors 2023 Convening. The presentation, “Supporting Grandparents & Other Relatives Raising Children,” will take place on Friday, May 26, in Arlington, Virginia.

Mark your calendar for June 1, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET, for a webinar on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) child-only grants, hosted by the federal Office of Family Assistance. The webinar will feature speakers from Mathematica, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and CalWORKs, along with Ana. The registration link is not yet available.

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.

What's New Around the Network?

July 26-28, 2023 above a picture of DC at sunset (including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol), with the Generations United logo (including the tagline "Because we're stronger together") at the bottom

Generations United Conference

July 26-28, 2023

Registration is open for Generations United’s in-person conference, which will take place in Washington, DC. Please see below for a description of the kinship/grandfamilies preconference session, which the Network is leading with our colleagues at the National Center on Grandfamilies.

GRAND Strategies to Embrace the Unique Service Needs of Kinship Families

Wednesday July 26, 2023

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Public and private agencies across the country are instilling a kin-first philosophy in child and family services because research and family experiences show that children and youth who cannot live with their parents do best when they are in the care of relatives or close family friends. The diverse racial/ethnic, demographic, and service needs of kinship/grandfamilies require tailored supports. This preconference program will showcase effective strategies, practices, and policies that are being implemented by kinship navigators and other kinship service providers across the U.S. During this session, we will encourage shared learning amongst audience members who are leading navigator programs, family resource centers, community-based peer support programs, and other kinship-serving programs. Join your peers in learning what’s working to serve and support kinship caregivers of all ages, and the children they raise both inside and outside the child welfare system.

Register Today!

Advancing Aging Network Capacity to Recognize and Support Family, Kinship and Tribal Caregivers Grant

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

Applications Due By June 26, 2023

Using the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers (the Strategy) as a road map, ACL will enter up to five new cooperative agreements of $300,000 to $1.1 million to support work on a national level to further advance the development of state, community, and tribal family caregiver support programs funded under the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), Title III-E and VI-C of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended. One grant will be awarded in each of the five Priorities/Goals in the Strategy. Grantees will be working in very close coordination with the ACL Program Officer and a new Technical Assistance and Coordinating Center for Family Caregiver Support & Best Practices that is being established concurrently. Grantees will also be expected to work with other ACL-funded technical assistance centers, as appropriate, and with other collaborative initiatives, as funding permits.

In the upper left corner, there is a helping hands icon with a heart. Then, the words "Priorities/Goals:" followed by five blocks of text: "Increasing Awareness and Outreach"; "Advancing Partnerships and Engagement with Care Teams"; "Advancing Services and Supports"; "Strengthening Financial and Workplace Security"; and "Solidifying a Family Caregiver National Research and Data Collection Agenda"
Submit an Application!
Graphic of a granddaughter and grandfather embracing in front of a path to an apartment building. One of the windows of the building has a heart over it.

Family Unification Program Funding Opportunity

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Applications Due By May 25, 2023

The Family Unification Program (FUP) is a program under which public housing authorities (PHAs) that partner with public child welfare agencies (PCWAs) provide Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance to two groups: (1) families, including kinship/ grandfamilies, for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family’s child in out-of-home care, or the delay in the discharge of the child to the family from out-of-home care and (2) youth at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age (have not reached their 25th birthday) who left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan, and are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless at age 16 or older. This program is a great example of collaboration across systems, and HUD plans to award 10 grants of up to $1.2 million through this process.

Apply Today!

News to Know

‘Something for Me’: The National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers

Next Avenue, May 2, 2023

This article features quotes from Greg Link, the director of the Office of Supportive and Caregiver Services at the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Speaking about family caregivers and the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, which was developed by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Act Family Caregiving Advisory Council and the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Link noted, “We know their needs and situations better than ever before, so I think the strategy will just help us set a course for developing that as we move forward.”

HHS Launches New Website to Help People Find Support for Issues with Mental Health, Drugs, or Alcohol

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, May 4, 2023 features inclusive success stories that illustrate different types of behavioral health experiences; lists of how to talk to someone about getting help; steps on how to cope with mental health, drug, or alcohol issues; signs of when to seek help and tools to ask for help; and information on how to pay for treatment with or without insurance.

HHS Awards an Additional $8.2M to Expand Pilot Diaper Distribution Program

Administration for Children and Families, May 2, 2023

Six states and one tribe are joining the Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot (Diaper Distribution Pilot), which provides diapers and other services to parents and kin caregivers. The expansion doubles the total number of involved states and tribes to 14. Professionals in Alabama, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Utah, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation may want to reach out to establish relationships with this program. Those who work in Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency in Washington state who have not already reached out to establish relationships with this program may also be interested in doing so.

A New Federal Cooperative Agreement Will Support a National Center for Enhanced Post-Adoption (and Guardianship) Support

The Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is accepting applications for a $3.75 to $4 million cooperative agreement to create a National Center for Enhanced Post-Adoption (and Guardianship) Support. The Center will serve as the focal point for national post-adoption (and guardianship) expertise and evidence-informed training and technical assistance services to support states in developing and implementing comprehensive and intensive post-permanency support programs.

Project GRANDD Helps Grandparents Raise Their Grandchildren

Georgia Public Broadcasting, April 27, 2023

Georgia Public Broadcasting recently published an article about Project GRANDD (Grandparents Raising and Nurturing Dependents with Disabilities), which is “the largest kinship family services provider in metro Atlanta.” Project GRANDD serves families that are outside of the child welfare system, offering support groups and case management, rent and utility payments, food, school supplies, clothes, and in-home tutoring. They also provide the families with fun activities to do together, like outings to museums, bowling alleys, and baseball games. To help the families, Project GRANDD partners with local and regional nonprofits and government agencies.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program Works to Stay Connected with Vulnerable Families

Second Wave Michigan, October 11, 2021

In this October 2021 article, Lisa Grodsky, the program operations manager at Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA), highlights the challenges and successes of the OLHSA Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group. The program pivoted to Zoom meetings due to the pandemic, which has opened their sessions to more people, including individuals from all over the country. Additionally, they have found ways to continue their intergenerational programming for the grandparents and grandchildren, even as the pandemic forced them to find different activities to share with the families. Although Grodsky notes that they have had difficulty finding grants, she also highlights their partnership with the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and the local nonprofit Impact 100 Oakland County.

Congratulations to Foster Kinship Navigator Program!

Last month, we promised to share an update on the exciting news that Foster Kinship Navigator Program achieved a promising practice rating in the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. Foster Kinship Navigator Program serves the state of Nevada, and it supports kinship families through legal support, assistance accessing financial support, helpline access, assistance navigating resources, support groups, and information sessions on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. As of the date of this newsletter, Foster Kinship is still waiting to learn if its rating extends to all the kinship families it serves or is limited to those with open child welfare cases. We will provide an update when there is more clarity on the rating.

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].

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.