The Grand Voice
Spring 2021
Vol. 5, Issue 1
Top Stories
National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies and Kinship Care
Among its provisions, the American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed on March 10, will provide $10 million for the first-ever National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies and Kinship Families. Three crises—the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic, and the long history of racial injustice in our country—have heightened the challenges and elevated the essential work of grandparents, other relatives, and close family friends in keeping children safe, stable, and connected to community and culture. This federally supported resource will help state, local, and community-based systems better serve the growing numbers of grandfamilies who raise children when parents cannot. Read the joint statement by Ana Beltran and Jaia Lent.
Coping with Crisis, Confronting COVID19: Native American Grandfamilies Hit the Hardest
In a blog post, Sarah Kastelic, executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Generations United’s Executive Director Donna Butts explained how Native grandfamilies are impacted by COVID-19. The piece featured GRAND Voice Member Sonya Begay and includes recommendations to policymakers and the incoming administration. Learn more.
Grandfamilies in the News

  • (Rhode Island) RhodeIsland PBS Weekly: GRANDS Flourish featuring GRAND Voice Magdalena Andreozzi

Policy in Action
American Rescue Plan Act Provisions to Help Children, Youth, Older Adults and Families
Earlier this month, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. Here's a detailed breakdown of how the $1.9 trillion #COVID19 relief package provides immediate relief for children, older adults and families. The relief package also works to address the racial and economic injustices that COVID-19 has exacerbated, cuts child poverty in half in 2021, and creates a National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies and Kinship Families. Learn more.
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021: Implications for Grandfamilies 
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law. The Act combines $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2021 and a $900 million COVID-19 relief package. The law contains several important provisions that have implications for grandfamilies or kinship families. Learn more from our summary of the Act. You can also read our blog to see the important provisions included because of your advocacy.
How States Can Use TANF To Immediately Help Struggling Residents
This is the second of three Center for American Progress issue briefs highlighting how TANF can be retooled and utilized to better assist families in or at risk of poverty during the coronavirus crisis. Learn more.
Focus on Race Equity
Black, African American, American Indian, and Alaska Native children are more likely to live in grandfamilies and face heightened challenges. This section of GRAND Voice focuses on issues and solutions related to addressing race equity.
Children of color are more likely than white kids to participate in remote schooling — and lack live access to teachers
Children in several Southern states have fared the worst during COVID-19, according to a new report on how kids across the U.S. have experienced hunger, remote-learning disadvantages and trouble with household bills.

Louisiana ranked last in Save the Children’s “child-focused” U.S. household analysis, which examined U.S. Census Bureau surveys from the last four months of 2020. In that state, one in four families don’t have enough food to eat, and a quarter also don’t have internet access or access to a digital device for educational use. Half are finding it difficult to afford household expenses. Learn more.
Combating systemic racism in child welfare
For too long, racial disparities have existed in child welfare systems across the country, with Black and Brown families overrepresented at key decision points. This is an issue that the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has long been committed to addressing in New York City’s system, but in keeping with society’s painful acknowledgment of systemic racial inequities, we are now taking more aggressive and comprehensive action than ever before. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Learn more.
How the Cherokee Nation is Beating Back COVID
A key component to that success has been the Cherokee Nation's private healthcare system, which includes a hospital on the reservation. Learn more.
GRAND Voices on the Move
Here are some additional highlights of GRAND Voices activities:
GRAND Voice Victoria Gray joined Generations United's staff as the GRAND Voice Support Coordinator and is helping to coordinate the distribution of grandfamilies COVID-19 relief funds. Generations United is thrilled to have Victoria join our team in this new capacity!
  • Norma Hatfield (KY) has continued participating in Casey Family Programs Building a 21st Century Research Agenda Project.

  • Eugene Vickerson (GA) has been participating in the National Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, providing expertise to conversations about the preliminary report of a study conducted by Casey Family Programs, Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison on poverty reduction policy packages.

  • Iona Jenkins (SC) has been participating on the Site Support Team for the Thriving Families, Safer Children project in South Carolina.

  • Cindy Kwiatkowski (NE) has been participating on the Site Support Team for the Thriving Families, Safer Children project in Nebraska.

  • Genia LaRese Newkirk (NC) and Keith Lowhorne (AL) joined Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts and Ana Beltran, co-director of the National Center on Grandfamilies, to discuss kinship care vs. guardianship. Listen to the episode.
Generations United Mourns the Loss of Lynn Granger
A fellow grandfamily caregiver, Lynn was an early and strong voice for grandfamilies. After retiring from teaching, Lynn was a founding member and executive director of Vermont Kin as Parents. In this role, she shared her story of kinship care and tirelessly advocated for families providing care, always keeping the children’s best interests as their priority. Lynn was valued for her knowledge, intelligence, compassion and empathy and consequently served on many legislative committees, boards, councils, and advisory groups as a spokesperson and advocate for kinship providers. Read the full obituary.
Episode 17 of The Generations United Podcast
In this episode, GRAND Voice Members Genia LaRese Newkirk and Keith Lowhorne joine our Executive Director Donna Butts and Ana Beltran, co-director of the National Center on Grandfamilies, to discuss adoption vs. guardianship. Ana shared resources created with support from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Listen to the episode.
Social Security’s Program that Helps Children with Disabilities
The COVID-19 pandemic has required the Social Security Administration (SSA) to limit in-person services to protect its customers and employees. Children with disabilities and their families are still eligible to receive financial support, but they may be struggling to access these benefits. Learn more.
Virtual Release of our Report on Multigenerational Living
Join Generations United for the virtual release of Family Matters: Multigenerational Living on the Rise and Here to Stay. This new report includes results of a recent national survey of multigenerational households, family profiles, and recommendations for how individuals and the private and public sectors can make it easier, more widespread, and acceptable so that the increasing number of multigenerational families can thrive. Learn more.
FCC Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price. Learn more.
Help Children Learn at Home
There are many ways you can help children learn at home. Whether your child is attending in-person classes, online classes at home, or a combination of both, adjusting to a new learning routine can be challenging and stressful for everyone involved. The following strategies are meant to help you get the support you need to facilitate at-home learning while staying connected and engaged with your school community. Remember – there is no “right” way for your child to learn at home. Learn more.
Episode 16 of The Generations United Podcast
In this episode, Dr. Anita Rogers discusses her civil rights work, how the activist landscape has changed, and the similarities between Black Power and Black Lives Matter. Listen to this episode.
Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles
Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard.

When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family. Learn more.
Taking Care of Yourself While Raising Your Grandchildren
Resources such as financial assistance and other help available can ease the stress, shore up health care and ease the money crunch for grandparents raising their grandkids. The secret can be understanding your situation and knowing where to turn for help. Learn more.
Generations United's 2020 State of Grandfamilies Report
Generations United released our new report, Facing a Pandemic: Grandfamilies Living Together During COVID-19 and Thriving Beyond, elevates the unique needs of grandfamilies amplified by the pandemic. The report contains solutions to connect grandfamilies to critical supports during this crisis and to create system that will continue to serve them well. Learn more.
Staying Healthy Across Generations: Vaccines are Essential for All Ages
Generations United's new infographic illustrates that vaccines aren't just for kids-they protect all generations- especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staying up to date on vaccines for the flu, pneumonia and whooping cough are important to protect both older adults and children. Soon a vaccine for COVID-19 will also be critical for both age groups. Check it out.
Race Equity Toolkits Featuring Grandfamilies
These toolkits are designed to give resources and tips to child welfare agencies, other government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, so they can better serve all American Indian and Alaska Native grandfamilies as well as African American grandfamilies regardless of child welfare involvement. It will explore some unique strengths and challenges of these grandfamilies, which agencies and organizations need to recognize in order to provide culturally appropriate support services. Learn more.
Join Our Team!
Generations United’s National Center on Grandfamilies is seeking a Project Assistant to join our results-oriented team and be a part of building on a 20-year legacy of working on behalf of and with grandfamilies. See the job posting.
COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Grandfamilies and Multigenerational Families
This fact sheet—which was updated in June—provides information for grandfamilies to stay healthy, informed and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Grand Voice is an e-resource for
grandfamily advocates and their allies distributed by Generations United's National Center on Grandfamilies. Grand Voice seeks to highlight key resources, policy updates, action opportunities, and program highlights to inspire and improve services and supports to grandfamilies across the U.S. Sign up for Generations United's weekly e-newsletter, Generations This Week.
Do you have something you want to have considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue of the Grand Voice? Please contact Alan King at
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