The Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Center compiles free and online legal resources in support of grandfamilies within and outside the child welfare system. If you would like to share a recommended resource not listed below, please contact us at grandfamilies@gu.org.

 

Resource Topics:
 

LEGISLATIVE RESOURCES

For federal and state laws directly impacting kinship families, go to our database.

 

For other federal laws, search for federal legislation

 

For other state laws, search for state legislation

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

AARP
601 E. Street, NW Washington, DC 20049 | (202) 434-2296

 

Annie E. Casey Foundation

701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 |   (410) 547-6600

 

American Bar Association
Center on Children and the Law, 1050 Connecticut Ave., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 662-1720

 

The Brookdale Foundation Group
Relatives As Parents Program, 300 Frank W. Burr Blvd, Suite 13, Teaneck, NJ  07666 | (201) 836-4602

 

Casey Family Programs
2001 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 | (206) 282-7300

 

ChildFocus, Inc.

 

Child Trends
7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1200W, Bethesda, MD 20814 | (240) 223-9200

 

Child Welfare League of America
440 First Street NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC 20001 | (202) 638-2952 

 

Child Welfare Information Gateway

 

Children's Defense Fund
25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | (202) 628-8787 

 

The Future of Children
267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 | (609) 258-5894

Generations United
25 E St. NW, third floor, Washington, DC 20001 | (202) 289-3979 

Grandfamilies of America
6525 Fish Hatchery Road, Thurmont, MD 21788 | (301) 898-8023; Direct Toll Free: (866) 203-8926, ext. 8103

 

Healthy Foster Care America 
American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, IL  60007 | (847) 434-7119

 

National Conference of State Legislators
Denver Office: 7700 East First Place, Denver, Colorado 80230 | (303) 364-7700
Washington Office: 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 515,Washington, DC 20001 | (202) 624-5400

 

National Kinship Alliance for Children

Mailing Address: PO Box 85, Ashland, VA 23005 | Caregiver Support Warmline: (888) 659-3745

 

National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation

Spaulding for Children, 16250 Northland Drive, Suite 100, Southfield, MI 48075| (248) 443-0306

GENERAL PUBLICATIONS

Children in Kinship Care Experience Improved Placement Stability, Higher Levels of Permanency, and Decreased Behavioral Problems: Findings from the Literature
Research shows that children experience better outcomes with kin across three major domains: improved placement stability, higher levels of permanency, and decreased behavior problems. ChildFocus reviewed some of the more recent literature on kinship care, summarized across these three outcome areas (2015).

 

Children Thrive in Grandfamilies
Generations United fact sheet summarizing research showing that  children thrive in grandfamilies and do even better when well supported by services (2016). 

 

The Continuing Evolution of State Kinship Care Policies
Presents the findings of a 2001 survey of state relative foster care policies, from Urban Institute (2002). 

 

Every Kid Needs A Family

This Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT policy report underscores a simple fact about childhood: Family matters. Yet, today in America, 57,000 children are still living in group placements. Readers will learn about limiting the role of residential treatment care to its intended purpose and how state and local leaders can work together to enhance family-oriented services and supports (2015). 

 

The Face of Kinship Care Documentary

This film, developed by CWLA and the NYS Kinship Navigator, portrays the compelling and inspiring stories of three kinship families and the love and devotion they show to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In a rare moment of recognition and validation, kinship caregivers see their story represented on screen. The film is a critical tool to help inspire, educate and energize human services agencies, caregivers, and policy makers.  If you are interested in more information on renting the film, please visit the CWLA bookstore.  The rental price is $19.95.

 

Foster and Kinship Parent Recruitment and Support Best Practice Inventory

This best practice guide for foster and kinship parent recruitment, produced by ChildFocus and the Redlich Horwitz Foundation, was developed to provide counties and provider agencies with new ideas and proven tools to improve their retention and support practices for foster parents (2017).

 

GrandFacts State Fact Sheets

Contains specific state information related to grandfamilies, including a comprehensive list of grandfamilies’ resources and services, and information about key public benefit programs (2017). 


Grandfamilies: Challenges of Caring for the Second Family

Summarizes the strengths and needs of these families, and provides U.S. Census Bureau data concerning them, from Generations United (2011).  

 

A Grandparent’s and Other Relative’s Guide to Raising Children with Disabilities

Generations United, with the support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, developed this guide to equip the caregivers, including those that provide full and part time care to relative children, with the national resources they need to help their children thrive, now and in the future (2013).

 

Additional guidebooks designed to help relatives’ access services for the children they are raising from Children's Defense Fund (2001):

Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda

Provides a comprehensive overview of the myriad of issues facing grandfamilies and shares recommendations from the second national expert symposium on grandparents and other relatives raising children from Generations United (2005).

 

Grand Successes: Stories of lives well-raised

This publication from Generations United consists of stories of various people who were raised by their grandparents and/or relatives (2012).

 

Grand Voices for America’s Children

Summarizes research and provides recommendations on how to build an effective message to help garner public support for grandparents and other relatives raising children, from Generations United (2005).

 

Judicial Tip Sheet:  Kin First

A one page tip sheet for judges on considerations in cases involving kin, from the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and NCJFCJ (2016). 

 

Kinship Care Resource Kit for Community and Faith-Based Organizations

Provides practical, hands-on information to community and faith-based organizations about the issues facing the families and how to support them from Children's Defense Fund (2004).

 

Local Organizations Honor SC Kinship Caregivers

Article by Lydia Royals at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina about the state's first “Kinship Care Day at the Capitol” in Columbia (2018).

 

National Foster Care Month 2018 website 

National Foster Care Month: It’s All Relative: Supporting Kinship Connections,. Website with resources  that fous on  supporting resource families, which include foster parents, foster-to-adopt families, relative/kinship caregivers and legal guardians to find free tools and resources.

 

Special Kinship Edition of the American Bar Association's Child Law Practice (CLP) 

This publication contains articles on resources for grandparents raising the children of the opioid epidemic, working with immigrant kinship caregivers and more. CLP is a free online resource with practical articles tied to the ABA Center on Children and the Law's primary areas of work and may be accessed at www.childlawpractice.org. To sign up for CLP Alerts, send an email to clptoday@americanbar.org

 

Kinship Diversion Debate

This report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the practice of "kinship diversion" in which children are placed with relatives as an alternative to foster care.  Different perspectives about whether kinship diversion is a good or bad practice are offered.  The report concludes that child welfare agencies should more thoroughly explore their kinship diversion practices to ensure they adequately meet the needs of children, their parents and kinship caregivers (2013).

 

Kinship Process Mapping

Kinship Process Mapping (KPM) is a form of analysis adapted from business to help child welfare agencies increase their efficiency and effectiveness in working with kinship families. This Annie E. Casey Foundation guide provides a step-by-step process to help agencies prepare for KPM, facilitate KPM sessions, analyze results and develop solutions. The Guide also includes kinship process templates that can be tailored to the unique needs and issues confronting public child welfare systems (2013).

 

Meth and Child Welfare: Promising Solutions for Children, Their Parents and Grandparents
Provides a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the child welfare system’s ability to combat the impact of meth and many of the other serious issues facing children and their families, from Generations United (2006).

 

Policy Update: Federal and State Legislation to Support Grandfamilies (2014)
Building on the progress of the last 20 years, helpful federal and state legislation continues to be pursued on behalf of grandfamilies. This update summarizes policy efforts during 2013 and looks ahead to what is on the horizon (2014).

 

Policy Update: Federal and State Federal and State Advances to Support Grandfamilies (2017)

An overview of current policy reforms at the federal and state levels that impact the lives of caregiving grandparents and their grandchildren. This important article was published in GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy  (2017). 

 

Promoting Permanency for Teens: A 50 State Review of Law and Policy

National Center for Youth Law 50-state permanency policy analysis. This brief explores the diversity of state policies and practices aimed at supporting teens’ need for a permanent connection to a family. Recommendations are aimed at helping child welfare agencies use a variety of strategies to achieve permanency for teens, with an emphasis on the use of kinship families (2017).

 

State of Grandfamilies in America 2017

Generations United's signature report in 2017 focuses on "The Protective Role of Grandparents and Other Relatives In Raising Children Exposed to Trauma."

 

State of Grandfamilies in America 2016, Updated 2018

Generations United's signature report in 2016 focuses on "Raising the Children of the Opioid Epidemic."

State of Grandfamilies in America 2015
Generations United signature report in 2015 focuses on highlighting the top 10 states with grandfamily-friendly laws and policies.

State of Grandfamilies in America 2014
Generations United signature report in 2014 focuses on who the families are, their strengths and challenges, and recommendations for supporting them.

 

State Kinship Care Policies for Children that Come to the Attention of Child Welfare Agencies: Findings from the 2007 Casey Kinship Foster Care Policy Survey
Summarizes key findings from the most recent survey of states’ kinship care policies. This study looks at the implications of states increasing their use of relatives to care for abused and neglected children to avoid having to take children into custody, from Child Trends (2008).

 

Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families
Annie E. Casey Foundation report on kinship care.

 

TANF and Child Welfare Programs: Increased Data Sharing Could Improve Access to Benefits and Services
US Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, (2011).

 

Time for Reform, Support Relatives in Providing Foster Care and Permanent Families for Children
Presents the latest findings on the impact of relative care for children in foster care, describes the role of relatives as permanent families for the children in their care, and offers cost-effective ways to support relatives as caregivers through federal policy, from Kids Are Waiting and Generations United (2007). 

 

U.S. Census Bureau Data 

Find the latest data on grandfamilies in American Fact Finder, a website of the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

U.S. Census Bureau report - Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012

This report explores the complexity of households in which grandparents and grandchildren live together. It uses data from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

 

Video Training Series: “Engaging Kinship Caregivers: Managing Risk Factors in Kinship Care”

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recently released a five-part video training series, featuring internationally respected kinship care expert, Dr. Joseph Crumbley, to strengthen the skills of child welfare professionals in supporting families to improve outcomes for children. The video training series includes a discussion guide to help program directors, supervisors and trainers lead group sessions to deepen the learning experience.