The Network Connection

VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 2 | MAY 2022

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

So far this month, the Network has held two virtual regional convenings, with the first including representatives from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, and the second including representatives from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. We have enjoyed having the opportunity to share and learn with and from you, and we look forward to continuing to do so at our upcoming convenings and in the rest of our work.

We are excited to use this newsletter to share the work of the people, systems, and organizations in the Network. Please share your latest news, upcoming events, and highlights with us. They may be featured in our next newsletter!

Save the Dates!

We have two webinars scheduled for September 2022, both of which are being offered at no charge.

A calendar page showing THURSDAY September 8

On September 8, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, Dr. Terry Cross (Seneca), Senior Advisor and Founding Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, will present about the keys to effective collaboration.

A calendar page showing TUESDAY September 20

On September 20, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, Dr. Joseph Crumbley, a nationally-renowned kinship expert, trainer, consultant, and therapist, will present about engaging kinship caregivers.

Registration links and more details will be available soon!

What's New from the Network?

A grandmother carries her granddaughter on her back

"Grandfamilies and Kinship Families: Strengths and Challenges"

Fact Sheet

The Network updated this fact sheet, a longstanding resource put forth by Generations United and previously supported by The Brookdale Foundation, to serve as a general resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about grandfamilies and kinship families. The end of the document contains links to additional resources.


"Supporting Grandfamilies During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Federal Flexibility and New Funding"

Policy Brief by Ana Beltran, published in the journal GrandFamilies

This policy brief discusses the legislation that provided funding for the first-ever national technical assistance center on grandfamilies and kinship families, now known as the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network.

A Black woman wearing a face mask leans over to help a Black child, who is working on a laptop and also wearing a face mask
An orange icon with two speech bubbles. The first speech bubble contains a question mark and the second contains a check mark.

Individual Technical Assistance

The Network is accepting individual technical assistance (TA) requests from professionals who work in systems or organizations that serve kinship families. To request TA, please either complete the online contact form from Generations United or email Shalah Bottoms, our technical assistance specialist.

Here's an example TA request and response.

Request: I’m a direct service worker helping a grandmother raising her three grandchildren. She’s doing her best to make ends meet but needs more help. What resources can you suggest that would be helpful?

Response: Local agencies like the Area Agency on Aging, your state family services department, and kinship navigator programs are great places to get connected to local financial, tangible, and emotional supports. Generations United, in partnership with The Brookdale Foundation Group, AARP, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Casey Family Programs, ChildFocus, Children's Defense Fund, and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has created 52 GrandFacts: State Fact Sheets for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children. Please visit to learn about resources specific to your state.

Upcoming Presentations About the Network

  • Shalah Bottoms will open the Central Missouri Foster and Adoptive Association Kinship Conference in Lake of the Ozarks on June 13, serving as a keynote speaker.

  • On Monday, July 11, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT, Ana Beltran and USAging's Meredith Hanley will present "Research and Resources for Supporting Grandfamilies and Kinship Families." This presentation will take place during USAging's Answers on Aging Conference and Tradeshow in Austin, Texas. Check out the conference agenda to learn more!

What's New From Our Partners and Friends?

Three stacked images: at top, an Asian grandmother and young granddaughter hold a teacup and saucer together and look at each other; in the middle image, a younger person's hands hold an older person's hand; in the bottom image, a grown grandson puts his arm around his grandmother and kisses her on the forehead as she looks at him

"Caring for Kinship Caregivers"


Thursday, May 26, 2022

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

Host: Children's Bureau Learning and Coordination Center

This webinar will feature our own Ana Beltran, the director of the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network, as well as John Cheney Egan, program administrator for the Office of Housing and Cash Assistance with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services and the Extended Family Support Program, and Liliana Hernandez, child welfare program specialist at the Children's Bureau. Planned topics of discussion include "kinship care; the new Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network; and how one state has been able to support kinship caregivers, prevent child abuse and neglect, and prevent foster care entries."


"Kinship Care and the Child Welfare System"

Fact Sheet

This new fact sheet is put forth by the Children's Bureau and the Child Welfare Information Gateway. It is "designed to help kin caregivers work effectively with the child welfare system." Additionally, it "includes resources, such as links to more detailed information or places to find support, to help caregivers learn about and navigate the child welfare system."

A graphic showing a grandfamily facing a maze, with icons respresenting health, housing, food, school, and money popping up a various points
A graphic of a house that is connected to the internet, with lines showing connections to graphics of a person at work on a laptop, an educator pointing at a blackboard on a laptop screen, and telehealth, as well as other lines indicating additional connections

Announcing the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Office of Family Assistance in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children & Families is announcing the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

The ACP is a benefit program of the Federal Communications Commission that aims to help households afford the broadband that is necessary for school, work, healthcare, and more. Eligible households on qualifying Tribal lands may receive a discount of up to $75 per month for internet service. All other eligible households may receive a discount of up to $30 per month for internet services. Additionally, eligible households that purchase a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet can receive a one-time discount of up to $100, provided that they contribute between $10 and $50 to the purchase.

More information is available for TANF offices and Tribal TANF offices.

It's Not Too Late to Help Grandfamilies and Kinship Families Get the Expanded Child Tax Credit

Although the deadline to file taxes has passed, grandfamilies and kinship families that do not need to file tax returns can still claim the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) for 2021, and even those who received the advance monthly payments must take action to obtain the remaining portion of the payment. The tool (also available in Spanish) provides a simple and fast way for families that are not required to file taxes to claim their credit. Grandfamilies and kinship families can visit to determine their eligibility for the CTC.

Generations United created a resource, "Grandfamilies and the Child Tax Cradit (CTC)," which provides more information about the CTC and grandfamilies and kinship families.

An infographic showing a grandfamily on a couch with an arrow connecting them to a laptop with a screen that says; the laptop is then connected by an arrow to a graphic of paper money

News to Know

"Thousands of WA grandparents are raising kids — and they need more help "

Seattle Times

This piece, published on May 13, highlights the Kinship Program at Catholic Community Services in Washington and tells the story of Ollie Reeves, a grandmother who recently added two additional children to her home, even though she was already struggling to keep up with the costs of raising two of her grandchildren. The four children now in her care range in age from 5 to 15. Written by Seattle native Marcus Harrison Green, the piece suggests that one solution to this problem might be a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI), which "is targeted to those most in need as a poverty reduction mechanism, without any restrictions or stipulations." Alaska has had a GBI since 1982, and San Francisco, California and South King County, Washington have piloted GBI programs.

Free At-Home Covid-19 Tests Are Available Again

Residential households in the U.S. are now eligible for another order of free at-home tests for Covid-19. The link in the headline goes to the website through which individuals and families can submit their name and address to order the test kits. Each order includes eight rapid antigen Covid-19 tests, in two packages of four. The tests and shipping are all free.

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.

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.