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This month, we’re acknowledging Kinship Care Month. Kinship families are at the heart of everything we do at the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network. Although we don’t work with the families directly, we seek to make life easier for them by supporting the professionals who do work with the families.

Additionally, this month is Child Welfare Workforce Development Month, which also ties in closely with our work. We know that being a child welfare worker is difficult, and we’re here to try to help, just as we aim to help professionals in other systems that impact the families.

For Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month, we have a newly updated resource on this topic, Caring for a Child Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), that is available in English and Spanish. If you work with families affected by FASD, you can share this resource directly with them.

In this newsletter, we’re sharing six 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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Earlier this month, President Biden released “A Proclamation on National Grandparents Day, 2023.” In it, he notes that “[s]ometimes, [grandparents] become primary caregivers, giving children a stable home and loving role model.” He also touts the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, explaining that it “outlines nearly 350 actions the Federal Government can take to support the health, well-being, and financial security of family caregivers, including the 2.7 million grandparents who serve as caregivers for children each year.”

What's New From the Network?

Kinship Services in Tribal Child Welfare Policy Toolkit

This toolkit, developed by our partners at the National Indian Child Welfare Association, has two parts. Part one examines several kinship-related issues that tribal child welfare programs might want to consider in drafting policies and procedures. Part two provides policy guidance and sample trauma-informed language to address the issues outlined in part one.

A Navajo grandmother and her young grandson smile as they look at each other
Access the Toolkit
A white grandmother and her granddaughter take a selfie together at the kitchen table

Kin-Finding Toolkit

The Kin-Finding Toolkit features promising practices that have been helping child welfare agencies across the country increase their kin placement rates. Every practice comes with the necessary real-world tools, such as sample policy language and forms. Take away new strategies and resources to adapt for the needs in your area. Learn more about the toolkit by watching the recording of our September webinar, "Improving Your Results in Kin-Finding and Placement."

Access the Kin-Finding Toolkit

Identifying and Engaging Untapped Partners to Support Kinship/Grandfamilies

This tip sheet provides strategies for building a repertoire of community resources and identifying, engaging, navigating, and maintaining new community connections that will sustain kinship/grandfamilies over time. Use this as a reference tool to identify additional community partners that may not immediately come to mind when providing services to kinship families.

A Black grandfather and his young granddaughter look a dandelions together
Access the Tip Sheet
A white grandmother bottle feeds her baby grandchild

Kinship/Grandfamilies and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

This fact sheet shares answers to frequently asked questions from grandfamilies and kinship families. You can share it directly with families so that they can better understand their options. We’re grateful to our subject matter experts at the Food Research & Action Center for creating this resource, and to Gail Engel and Sarah Smalls – who are both Network subject matter experts, Network management committee members, and GRAND Voice grandparent caregivers – for their review of the resource.

Access the WIC Fact Sheet in English
Access the WIC Fact Sheet in Spanish

Monthly Resource: We know grandfamilies are out there. How do we find them?

Our monthly two-pager for the month of September provides tips to help programs find grandfamilies to serve. 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 and to subject matter expert, management committee member, and GRAND Voice Gail Engel for her helpful review.

A Latina grandmother and her young grandson sit at a table and play together at home

Hungry for more? We’re planning an additional, more in-depth resource on this critical topic!

Access the September Resource
The Choctaw Nation Capitol House and museum in Tvshka Homma

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma 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 Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, 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

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 Kin-Finding Toolkit.

"NEW RESOURCE!" A white grandmother and her granddaughter take a selfie together at the kitchen table "Kin-Finding Toolkit"

The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center has a new resource for #ChildWelfareProfessionals. The Kin-Finding Toolkit features promising practices that have been helping child welfare agencies across the country increase their #kin placement rates. Every practice comes with the necessary real-world tools for implementation, such as sample policy language and forms.

Check it out:

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

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 request assistance form.

Here is an example TA request and response.


My organization would like to learn more about evidence-based practices for serving kin caregivers. Where should we start?


The Network recently did a webinar, “Building Evidence of Success for Kinship Programs: Tips and Strategies," discussing general principles and tips for kinship programs across the country, small or large, wanting to build evidence of success. A list of Evaluation Resources for Kinship Programs was also developed to accompany the webinar.

It may also be helpful to learn about service models that have already been evaluated and proven to be evidence-based. There are currently four states with a kinship navigator program meeting the evidence-based standards of the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse- Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio. Learn more about these programs by visiting Kinship Navigator Programs Around the United States.

 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

The Office of Family Assistance in the U.S. Administration for Children & Families held a webinar called “Examining TANF Child-Only Cases: Identifying Needs and Enhancing Support.” Network Director Ana Beltran was honored to be asked to share promising policies, practices, and tips on how agencies can ensure more children in kinship/grandfamilies are receiving this important monthly financial assistance. She shared policies from Massachusetts and Washington State that allow more kinship families to access this important support, along with practices like creating a low-tech video from New York’s Kinship Navigator that shows caregivers how to complete a child-only application. A recording of the webinar is now available online. You can also access Ana’s TANF brief from 2014 that, while old, should still be helpful. 

What's New Around the Network?

Icons for medical care, nutrition, and housing, all grouped together inside one building-shaped outline

Benefits Enrollment Center Grants

National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment, National Council on Aging (as part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Administration for Community Living)

Applications Due By 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 5, 2023

This program will award grants of $25,000 to $250,000 to organizations that are seeking to become Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs). The goal of the BEC program is to promote lasting transformations to the ways older adults and adults living with disabilities are assisted with enrolling in and retaining the benefits they are eligible for, with a primary focus on Medicare Part D Extra Help (or Low-Income Subsidy, LIS), the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Medicaid.

Learn More and Apply

Strengthening Native Programs & Feeding Families Grant

First Nations Development Institute

Applications Due By 5 p.m. MT on Thursday, October 5, 2023

Through this grant program, First Nations expects to award 12 grants to tribes or Native-run nonprofits or Native community groups that are addressing food insecurity through food distribution. Total requests for project budgets should not exceed $10,000. Projects should demonstrate the capacity or desire to source and distribute at least 5,000 pounds of food during the one-year grant period.

A graphic of a Native family appears above a graphic showing fresh produce and canned goods, with arrows indicating distribution
Learn More and Apply

AmeriCorps VISTA Request for Concept Papers and AmeriCorps Grants

Application Deadlines Vary

The FY 2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Request for Concept Papers is open to Sponsors. A Sponsor is a nonprofit organization, government agency, or Native-led organization that applies for and receives an award to place AmeriCorps VISTA members, and in some cases, receives AmeriCorps VISTA grant funds. Sponsors design and operate a project for which they recruit and supervise AmeriCorps VISTA members, who work on the project full-time. For more information, see the link above. There will be three cycles for concept papers in FY 2024. The deadline for Cycle 1 is November 16, 2023. The deadline for Cycle 2 is February 15, 2024. The deadline for Cycle 3 is March 28, 2024. Live informational webinars are available for you to learn more about this opportunity.

The FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants and the FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Native Nations Grants are now open to applications. For the State and National Grants, most organizations must apply through the Governor-appointed State or Territory Commissions, which have their own application processes and may have additional requirements. Applications to State Commissions may be due significantly before the AmeriCorps State and National deadline of 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 4, 2024. The deadline for applications to the AmeriCorps State and National Native Nations Notice of Funding Opportunity is Friday, April 5, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

A graphic representing public health appears in the center, with a graphic representing social connection above and an image representing youth mental health below

Barclay-Giel Seed Grants

PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health

Applications Due By Sunday, November 12, 2023

This grant program provides up to $10,000 per recipient to any nonprofit entity, including 501(c)(3) and local/state/tribe/tribal organizations whose primary mission is addressing one or more public health issues. Grants are open to all areas of public health, with the Surgeon General’s Priorities (health misinformation, health worker burnout, social connection, youth mental health, and workplace well-being) of special interest. Proposed projects should have a strong disease and/or injury prevention component that impacts the health of a community by promoting wellness, early detection, and early interventions. Funds are not intended for clinical care or patient treatment.

Learn More and Apply

Outdated Court Policies Can Leave Children Without a Legal Guardian Report

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Network Director Ana Beltran and Network Subject Matter Expert Heidi Redlich-Epstein provided interviews to help inform this report, which focuses on minor guardianship cases. The report explains minor guardianship and the challenges associated with obtaining it and provides recommendations for states to make the process easier for families.

Scales representing the legal system appear above a graphic of a white grandmother with a puzzle piece missing from her sweater offering the piece to her young granddaughter, who has the same puzzle piece missing from her shirt
Access the Report
An icon for housing in the middle, with lines connecting it to icons for aging, child welfare, disability, medical care, education, nutrition, and TANF

Partnerships with Your Local Housing Sector Video Series

Housing and Services Resource Center, USAging

Professionals in the aging, disability, and health networks, and any other network or system that serves kinship families (child welfare, education, nutrition, TANF) can use any or all of these three interactive virtual workshops to learn the basics about affordable housing and to identify and reach out to potential partners in this sector.

Access the Videos

Crisis Services for Indigenous People Interactive Map

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board worked with a contractor to examine the extent of crisis services available to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people throughout the Indian Health Service regions in the United States. The goal was to better understand the strengths and needs of services accessible for AI/AN people experiencing distress or anxiety that results from mental health and substance use disorder.

A U.S. map above icons representing a crisis, a telephone, and texting
Learn More and Access the Map

News to Know

Letter Regarding Reminders to State and Tribal Title IV-E Agencies about the Social Security Representative Payee Program and the Title IV-E Federal Foster Care Program

August 17, 2023

This letter from the Social Security Administration and the Administration for Children and Families describes how state and tribal title IV-E agencies that serve as representative payees for children receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits must manage those benefits.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Adds American Sign Language (ASL) Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Callers

September 8, 2023

To connect directly to a trained 988 Lifeline counselor in ASL, callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened can click the "ASL Now" button on and follow the prompts. Direct dialing to 988 from a videophone will be available in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, ASL callers can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) from their videophone to reach ASL services.

2022 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Estimates Now Available

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates earlier this month. ACS is the primary national data source for grandfamilies/kinship families. Important tables include one for grandparents responsible for grandchildren and one for grandchildren. See for the latest relevant Census Bureau data. 

Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children (Summer EBT) To Officially Launch in Summer 2024

Summer EBT provides grocery-buying benefits to low-income families with school-aged children when schools are closed for the summer. More than 29 million children across America could benefit from Summer EBT. Summer EBT benefits will come in the form of pre-loaded cards that families can use to purchase groceries. Beginning in summer 2024, families will receive $40 per eligible child, per month. These benefits work together with other available FNS nutrition assistance programs, such as summer meal sites, SNAP, and WIC, to help ensure kids have consistent access to critical nutrition when school is out.

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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.