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In this newsletter, we’re sharing several 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 linked on our website, so you can access them anytime.

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The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is now on LinkedIn. Please follow us here!

Calendar page showing THURSDAY Nov. 16

Register for our Next Webinar!

Support Groups: Recruiting, Retention, and Everything in Between

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

In this webinar, we’ll describe the advantages of support groups and identify topics that might be included during group meetings. We’ll explore how to recruit and retain participants, schedule and structure in-person or online groups, and create an environment where all feel safe, seen, and welcomed. We’ll also provide links to free or low-cost resources to get you started or to help you enhance what you already offer. Our presenters are Kathy Kinsner, Senior Parenting Resources Manager at ZERO TO THREE, and Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family.

Learn More and Register for November 16

What's New From the Network?

New Federal Rule Supports Kinship Families in Foster Care Resource and Webinar Recording

This short resource explains the final rule that was published by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on September 28, 2023. The rule explicitly gives all Title IV-E child welfare agencies the option to use kin-specific foster care licensing or approval standards and encourages them to limit those standards to federal safety requirements. This change will allow more children to be cared for by those they know and love and requires that they be financially supported like children with non-kin foster parents. We also held a webinar on this topic, along with a coalition of national nonprofit organizations. As part of the webinar, the coalition released its recommended kin-specific standards.

A Black grandmother and grandfather smile at each other and their smiling granddaughter and grandson, who have their arms around their grandparents
Access this Resource
Access the Webinar Recording and Associated Resources
A white grandfather and grandson sit next to each other outside and the grandfather smiles at his smiling grandson, who has a disability and is holding a balloon

Funding Toolkit

This funding toolkit is designed primarily for nonprofit agencies and organizations that provide tailored services to kinship families, whether as the sole mission of the organization or through one specific program. In this resource, you will find tips and tools to identify and secure funding for your kinship services. The toolkit is accompanied by a Kinship Agency Proposal Template and a format for Creating a Memorandum of Understanding

Access this Toolkit

How to Leverage the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey to Learn More about Children in Kinship Families

Building population assessment measures can be costly for programs with limited funds. Utilizing opportunities to draw on existing data can be a cost-effective way to support program and planning efforts. This fact sheet describes the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), explains the benefits of adding kinship-related questions to it and how to do so, and provides examples of the kinship-related questions that Washington State added to its version of the YRBS. We are grateful to Subject Matter Expert Dr. Angelique Day for her work in pulling this resource together.

A Black grandfather bends over as he hugs his two granddaughters, one of whom appears to be an adolescent. The older granddaughter's face is partially visible, and she is smiling.
Access this Fact Sheet
A white grandparent walks with two young grandchildren, holding one in her arms. Their backs are to the camera as they make their way along a paved path in the woods.

Resource Guides for Kin Caregivers and Those Who Work with Them

This list contains examples of resource guides for kinship families and those who serve them. These types of written resources can be very helpful to help explain the various legal options available to kin caregivers. They are most useful when they are state-specific, as laws and policies impacting these families vary greatly around the country. 

Access this List

Monthly Resource

Planning for the “What Ifs”

Our monthly two-pager for October focuses on the delicate but important topic of helping grandfamilies prepare for the death or serious illness of a caregiver. It provides concrete tips for anyone who is navigating these difficult conversations. We are grateful to our partners at ZERO TO THREE for their leadership in producing these monthly resources.

A Latina grandmother leans over behind her husband, who is sitting on a park bench, and clasps her hands on his chest. Both smile at their granddaughter, who is holding her grandfather's arm and smiling at him.
Access the Monthly Resource for October

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 hoping you will follow the Network's new LinkedIn account!

As of late September, the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center has a LinkedIn account, which will be the hub for all of our social media content. We are posting resources, events, media clips, news about partners, popular TA questions, and more 1-3 times per week.

Screenshot of the Network's LinkedIn page

We'd appreciate you doing one or more of the following things to help our account get off the ground:

  1. Follow it by simply clicking "Follow" under our banner and name.
  2. Ask your communications department, colleagues, and/or people in your network to follow the account.
  3. React to and/or comment on one of our posts.

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.

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

Here is an example TA request and response.


What steps do states need to take to implement the final rule allowing for kin-specific approval or licensing standards?


The steps states need to take to implement the new final rule will vary depending on whether the state’s licensing standards are found in state statute, regulation, or policy. In some states, the legislature may need to become involved, but others may be able to implement new standards without legislative action. All states, territories, and Tribes operating a Title IV-E agency that want to implement the final rule must amend their Title IV-E Plan according to the instructions linked here. Attachment A contains the template to follow, and Attachment B has a list of Administration for Children and Families Regional Offices to consult for guidance on completing Attachment A. 

While implementing kin-specific standards is optional, each Title IV-E agency must review the amount of foster care maintenance payments (FCMPs) to assure that the agency provides a licensed or approved relative or kinship foster family home the same amount of FCMPs that would have been provided if the child was placed in a non-related/non-kinship foster family home. Each Title IV-E agency must submit an amendment to the Title IV-E plan implementing such procedures by February 8, 2024.

To learn more about the new rule, see the Network’s new resource and watch the recording of our webinar, “Kin-Specific Foster Home Licensure: Overview of New Federal Rule & Release of Recommended Standards." Also, do not hesitate to use our form to reach out with any additional questions.

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

Presentations About the Network

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Network Director Ana Beltran and Generations United Deputy Director Jaia Lent (pictured together on the right) joined Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts to represent Generations United and the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network and present at the Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents conference last week.

Ana and Jaia pose next to a screen showing their PowerPoint presentation

What's New Around the Network?

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“Supporting Someone in Crisis” Shared Learning Group

The Link Center

See Below for Dates and Times

The Link Center is funded by the Administration for Community Living, and this Shared Learning Group is an opportunity to dive into the topic of “Supporting Someone in Crisis” and tap into community expertise and experiences related to people with cognitive disabilities – including intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury, and others – and mental health conditions. The meetings will be led by members of The Link Center Steering Committee and project partners. There are four sessions on the same topic, each for a different target audience. Registration is required and is limited to 200 participants per session. Future sessions will cover different topics.

Registration for the Direct Support Professionals session, which will take place on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET, is now closed.

Register for the Clinical Professionals session, which will take place on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Register for and tell families about the Families session, which will take place on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.

Register for and tell individuals about the Individuals session, which will take place on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Webinar: "How to Build a System that Never Stops Looking for Kin"

Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab

Friday, November 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Kin placements don’t always happen at the time of removal, even if there is a willing caregiver. Three child welfare leaders committed to building a kin-first culture in Michigan and Florida will share concrete examples of ways their agency leadership and case management staff are implementing daily practices to build systems that never stop looking for kin

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Learn More and Register for November 3
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Two Proposed Rules Related to Foster Care Open for Comment

Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Written Comments Due By Monday, November 27, 2023

The two new Notice of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRMs) are on the topic of foster care legal representation and safe and appropriate placements and services for children in foster care who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, or intersex, as well as children who are non-binary or have non-conforming gender identity or expression (LGBTQI+).

Tribal Leaders’ Teleconference Call on NPRMs Monday, October 30, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. ET

As part of its efforts to partner with Tribes on a nation-to-nation basis, the Children’s Bureau is inviting Tribal Leaders to join a teleconference call to provide input on the two NPRMs described above. Tribal leaders and other Native advocates can also submit comments through the open commenting process.

Access the Dear Tribal Leader Letter to Learn More

Online Event: "Building Resilience: Supporting Grandfamilies’ Mental Health and Wellness" State of Grandfamilies Report Release

Generations United

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET

The 2023 State of Grandfamilies report release webinar will explore key findings and highlights from the report and will feature a conversation with caregivers and young members of grandfamilies, which will be facilitated by Sonia Emerson of ChildFocus Partners. Webinar attendees will also hear insights from Dr. Joseph Crumbley, who is a Network subject matter expert.

Icons of heads with hearts, stars, and dumbells inside, meant to indicate building resilience
Learn More and Register for November 8
An icon showing a growing group of people appears above a graphic of a grandfamily embracing, whic appears above an icon of a hand holding an older couple

2023 Chartbook – More Older Adults, More Complex Needs: Trends and New Directions from the National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging


This recently released document presents the results from the latest national survey of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The survey was funded through a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging within the Administration for Community Living and conducted in partnership with Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University. Regarding kin caregivers, the chartbook shows the following key facts.

  • 53 percent of AAAs provide services specifically for grandparent and/or kin caregivers
  • 30 percent provide social engagement programs for this population
  • 20 percent have a kinship program coordinator or manager on staff, and an additional 10 percent would like to hire one in the next three years
  • 18 percent of AAAs feel they would benefit from additional training or technical assistance to better serve kinship caregivers – if you work for one of them, contact us
  • 3 percent of AAAs operate a kinship navigator program
Access the Chartbook

Kinship Care Supports the Academic Performance of Children

Child Trends

In this brief, Network Subject Matter Expert Dr. Tyreasa Washington and Dr. Brittany P. Mihalec-Adkins summarize the findings of a recent study by Dr. Washington and her colleagues. The study focused on the academic trajectories of children in formal and informal kinship care. Additionally, the brief presents new recommendations for child welfare agencies.

Grandparents and three grandhildren sit with a book on a couch above an icon for education and a paper with an "A" grade and a graduation cap
Access the Brief
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Medicaid and Housing: State Strategies to Support Housing-Related Services Toolkit

National Academy for State Health Policy

States can use Medicaid to support housing and housing-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries. This toolkit includes three briefs and an interactive chart. The interactive chart provides a detailed look at supportive housing programs in 18 states. The briefs provide information on Medicaid authorities that are frequently used to address housing needs; a description of how states have structured their payment policy for housing support services under Medicaid; and an overview of common target populations, services, and reimbursement approaches.

Access the Medicaid and Housing Toolkit

2023 Virtual Workshop Recordings

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) National Training Program

The CMS National Training Program seeks to produce information that can be used to effectively train the public. Kinship navigators and other professionals who work with families may find some of these workshop recordings helpful. E-courses are also available through the CMS National Training Program website.

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Access Recordings of Past Trainings

News to Know

Harvesting Produce with Grandparents: A UAPB Department of Human Sciences Research and Extension Initiative

September 22, 2023

This program for grandparents raising grandchildren is a collaborative effort, undertaken in “partnership between [the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s] School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS), the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service and the Pine Bluff First Assembly (PBFA) church.” Dr. Karleah Harris, an assistant professor, notes that “[w]hen families engage in growing their own food, they unlock a multitude of advantages, including maintaining a healthy diet, being aware of the food’s nutritional content, saving on expenses, connecting with nature, witnessing crop growth at various stages, and reaping physical, psychological and social rewards.” Additionally, she shares, “I find immense joy in teaching about gardening and its profound impact on families, especially grandfamilies.”

All Aboard the Generosity Express: High Country Caregivers Families Ride the Rails at Tweetsie Railroad Thanks to Local Sponsors

October 9, 2023

“The HCC Kinship Care program offers comprehensive whole-family care to empower caregivers who take on the responsibility of caring for a relative or friend’s child. They work to keep children out of foster care and group homes allowing them to remain with families that love them.” A family looking to honor the memory of a beloved grandfather sponsored this special event for the families, and they had a great time. Social worker Caroline Johnson said, “More than 160 people attended. Many of these families never get opportunities like this. In my three years, working with these families, this was one of my most impactful days.” – New Website

This new website, launched by a consortium of organizations, seeks to support the implementation of the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers by providing resources for state officials on the direct care workforce, respite care, and state policy strategies, as well as resources for family caregivers, employers, funders, and managed care plans. The Network, through our partner USAging, is preparing a resource guide for kin caregivers for this new website.

USDA Expands Access to School Breakfast and Lunch for More Students

As a result of a new rule, approximately 3,000 more school districts in high-need areas will have the option to use the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to serve breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost. Families in these districts will not be required to apply for free or reduced-price meals, as all students will be eligible for free meals.

The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is now on LinkedIn. Please follow us here!

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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.

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.