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

This month, we’re marking National Family Caregivers Month, National Adoption Month, Native American Heritage Month, and National Runaway Prevention Month. Since our last newsletter, we held our November webinar and we have continued to respond to requests for technical assistance and to post new resources to our website. Please read on for more information about resources and upcoming events.

Please share your latest news, upcoming events, and highlights with us. They may be featured in our next newsletter!

A calendar page showing WEDNESDAY January 11

Register for Our January Webinar!

Our January webinar will take place on Wednesday, January 11, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. The topic is “The Important Role of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Programs in Serving Kinship/Grandfamilies: Research, Resources, and Strategies for Success.” Our presenters will be Leland Kiang, program manager at USAging; professionals from Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging programs that serve kinship/grandfamilies; and Ana Beltran, the director of the Network.


What's New From the Network?

November Webinar Recording and Slides Now Available

Our November webinar covered the topic “Legal Relationships and Public Benefits for Kinship/Grandfamilies.” One of the most fundamental differences between kinship/grandfamilies and parent-headed families is the lack of an automatic legal relationship between the caregiver and child. Without such a relationship, access to services and supports for the child and their kinship/grandfamily can be challenging, if not impossible. This webinar – presented by Ana Beltran, JD, the director of the Network, and Heidi Redlich Epstein, MSW, JD, a Network subject matter expert and the director of Kinship Policy and State Projects at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law – explored the various legal relationship options and the array of public benefits and tax credits that are available to these families. Webinar participants left equipped with a fill-in PowerPoint template that they can tailor to jurisdiction-specific laws and public benefit policies to train staff, other stakeholders, and/or the families themselves.

Headshots of Ana Beltran and Heidi Redlich Epstein appear above the words "Legal Relationships and Public Benefits for Kinship/Grandfamilies." Below, icons representing families and law, TANF, SNAP, and health care are arrayed in rows
A grandmother and her granddaughter smile at each other as they cook together

Regional Convenings Resource List

The resources that various agencies and organizations shared during our regional convenings are gathered together on this webpage and grouped by topic. Every item on the list is a link, so access to each resource is only a click away.


Cultural Connectedness and Indigenous Youth Well-Being

This fact sheet, created and shared by the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), one of the Network’s managing partners, is now available on the Network’s website. The webpage includes excerpts from the fact sheet, as well as a link to download the fact sheet in its entirety.

READY FOR RECOGNITION? The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network wants to lift up your exemplary policy, practice, or program!

Applications Are Due Tomorrow for the Exemplary Kinship/Grandfamilies Policy, Practice, and Program Designation!

Reminder! The Network is seeking to identify and designate exemplary kinship/grandfamilies policies, practices, and programs to elevate good work and share replicable strategies with others. We encourage applications from government agencies in states, tribes, and territories, as well as kinship navigator programs and other community-based organizations that serve kinship/grandfamilies. The application deadline is Wednesday, November 16, 2022.


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 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Kinship/Grandfamilies Fact Sheet:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help kinship/grandfamilies put food on the table. A fact sheet from @GensUnited's Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network and @fractweets shares background information, facts, & resources and answers FAQs

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 accepting individual technical assistance (TA) requests from professionals who work in systems and organizations that serve kinship/grandfamilies.

To request TA, please complete our Technical Assistance Request Form.

Here's an example TA request and response.


My state is looking to end the practice of referring parents to child support when a child is living with a relative and the relative caregiver wants to seek a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families child-only grant. Are there any states already doing this?


Massachusetts grants good cause exemptions for assigning child support to the state to all kin caregivers applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) child-only grants when the caregiver deems that pursuing child support is not in the best interest of the child. Click here to review their state policy guidance for staff and the public. Visit our website to learn more about the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance’s good cause exemptions and how they support kinship caregivers. Massachusetts leaders reviewed guidance from the following three sources to create their reform: a federal report called “Section 8-Child Support Enforcement Program," the Penalty Performance Measures and Levels section of Part 305 of the U.S. Code, and a report entitled “Child Support Cooperation Requirements and Public Benefits Programs: An Overview of Issues and Recommendations for Change." Massachusetts also has two outreach flyers that may be useful examples for other jurisdictions.

What's New Around the Network?

An image of the cover of the report. The main photo on the cover shows a Black grandfather and his young grandson cooking together, with a big pot on the stove. A teenager is using the sink in the background.

Together at the Table: Supporting the Nutrition, Health, and Well-Being of Grandfamilies

Generations United

The Generations United 2022 State of Grandfamilies Report, “Together at the Table: Supporting the Nutrition, Health, and Well-Being of Grandfamilies,” includes the latest data on grandfamilies, hunger, and food insecurity, as well as policy recommendations to help feed grandfamilies.

Seeking Nominations for

Generations United's GRAND Voices

Do you interact with a kin/grandfamily caregiver who is interested in sharing their experiences while gaining information and advocacy skills? GRAND Voices is a select group of over 80 grandparents and other kin raising children around the country, and Generations United is seeking your help to identify qualified individuals to become a new Voice.

GRAND Voices serve as strategic partners to inform policies and practices affecting grandfamilies and help reveal family strengths and needs, as well as service gaps. They provide guidance and feedback on Generations United’s resources and advocacy on behalf of grandfamilies. Generations United provides information and training to the network and facilitates their engagement in opportunities to raise their voices to shape programs, policies, and strategies that result in better outcomes for children and families.

To nominate someone, please reach out to Jaia Lent or Robyn Wind.

"Accepting Nominations" appears above graphics of a computer screen with an application on it and three individuals raising up a heart. At the bottom, the Generations United logo appears.
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Social Engagement and Mental Health: Successful Programs and Interventions Webinar

Presented by engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults

Friday, November 18, 2022

1:00 p.m. ET

During this webinar, the Illinois Coalition on Mental Health and Aging will provide background information on how remaining socially engaged and connected positively impacts mental health. The webinar will also include a discussion of what organizations interested in developing programs that address social engagement and mental health should know with regard to potential partners and coalition building. Attendees will hear from Rogue Valley Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging and the University of Rochester Medical Center on programs and interventions that promote social engagement and positive mental health outcomes.


2022 Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Public Call for Program and Service Recommendations

Deadline: November 22, 2022

The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review research on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements. The Clearinghouse reviews evidence on mental health, substance use, in-home parent skill-based, and kinship navigator programs and services. The Clearinghouse rates eligible programs and services as well-supported, supported, promising, or does not currently meet criteria.

The Clearinghouse now includes two kinship navigator programs – one in Arizona and one in Ohio – but their approval is limited to serving kinship/grandfamilies in which the children are in child welfare custody. A kinship navigator program model that is inclusive of all kinship/grandfamilies is not yet approved by the Clearinghouse. Once such a program is included, that program – and others that follow it with fidelity – will be eligible for ongoing 50 percent federal reimbursement of all program costs with no cap.

A Black grandmother smiles as she reads with her grandson. In the background, the grandfather and granddaughter are also reading together

OhioKAN Program Manual

OhioKAN is a kinship and adoption navigator program designed to support children, youth, and their families. OhioKAN strives to partner with families to strengthen their networks and connect them with programs and services that meet their needs. OhioKAN is publicly sharing their Program Manual, which may be helpful to other kinship navigator programs.


White Paper: Disaster Planning for Human Services Agencies



Disasters come in many forms, from hurricanes and wildfires to pandemics and cyber attacks. Some of the hardest-hit victims are often older adults, individuals with disabilities, and unsheltered clients. WellSky is offering a free white paper to inform disaster preparedness plans. The paper provides step-by-step guidance to implement the five phases of preparedness, locate federal and state resources available to you, and continue service provision during and after an emergency.

A graphic of a triangular sign with an exclamation point in the middle and a large water droplet, a tornado, and a fire on each side sits above a graphic of a cheklist and a photo of a disaster recovery plan

News to Know

The Supreme Court Will Decide the Future of Native American Foster Children

Time, November 9, 2022

“The case brings together some of the most complicated issues in American life: the state’s responsibility to care for vulnerable children, what qualifies as a legal racial classification, and what the U.S. government owes to Native communities to atone for its brutal crimes of the past. Like the high-profile challenge to affirmative action before the court this term, the Justices will evaluate claims of racial discrimination brought by white people. Both sides in this case argue their position is in the best interest of Native children, and tribes across the country have weighed in with hopes of swaying the bench: 496 Indian tribes and 62 tribal and Indian organizations have filed in defense of the law.”

Dear Colleague Letter on Addressing the Impacts of Parent and Caregiver Loss on Children

Administration for Children and Families, October 12, 2022

“ACF is committed to communicating information about programs and resources to support families after parent and caregiver loss and fostering partnerships that support children, youth, and families who have experienced parent or caregiver loss.” A table of supports is included after the letter, as is an appendix of actions that have been taken.

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

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.