Developing and Sustaining Support Groups for Kinship Caregivers
Find resources to assist communities, caseworkers, and families in developing and sustaining support group services for kinship caregivers. Resources include State and local examples.
Developing a Parent-to-Parent Support Network (PDF - 302 KB)
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Helps communities develop peer support networks for adoptive, foster, and kinship parents. The booklet includes information on six peer support network models and steps for creating a program in your area.
Family Support Services for Grandparents and Other Relatives Providing Care for Children of Women Who Are Substance Abusing and HIV Positive
Family Support Services of the Bay Area (2005)
Describes the activities and outcomes of a 5-year federally funded family support program for kinship caregivers. The report discusses the increase incidence of kinship care, the goals of the project, project implementation, services provided, and characteristics of participants. Challenges and barriers to services are explored, along with lessons learned during the project.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: The Role of Social Support in Coping with Caregiving Challenges
Gerard, Landry-Meyer, & Roe
International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 62(4), 2006
Examines the potential moderating role of social support between grandparents' stressors and general well-being. Findings highlight the importance of professional assistance and community services in minimizing the negative impact of childrearing challenges on grandparents' well-being.
How Caregiving Grandparents View Support Groups: An Exploratory Study
In Working With Custodial Grandparents
Assesses the topics grandparents discuss in support groups, finding that they want to work on specific goals and involve grandchildren and other family members in support group activities.
Crocol & Jefferson-Smith (2004)
View Abstract and Document
Reviews the KinNET program, which was established to strengthen services provided by support groups for grandparents and other relatives who care for children placed by the foster care system. It makes recommendations for those starting and running support groups based on findings throughout the project.
Kinship Liaisons: A Peer-to-Peer Approach to Supporting Kinship Caregivers
Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 2011
Examines findings from a U.S. Children's Bureau System of Care Demonstration project that studied a peer-to-peer approach which paired a new relative caregiver, with a full-time, paid kinship liaison. Policy and practice insights are provided.
School-Based Support Group Intervention for Children in the Care of Their Grandparents
Kolomer, McCallion, & Voorhis (2008)
In Parenting the Custodial Grandchild: Implications for Clinical Practice
Discusses challenges faced by children in the custodial care of their grandparents and emphasizes the need for support groups for children in schools. The article describes the Banana Splits support group model for counseling children of divorcing parents, as well as a pilot program that applied the model to grandchildren living in grandparent-headed households, and includes findings and lessons learned from the pilot.
State and local examples
Maryland Kinship Care Services
Maryland Department of Human Resources
Provides kinship adoptive parents in Maryland links to support groups in the State, as well as links to services for families formed through kinship adoption.
Kinship Care Support Groups (PDF - 154 KB)
Lists Fairfax County, VA, support groups for grandparents and other kinship care relatives raising minor children whose parents are unable to care for them. Groups are led by social workers from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, and free child care assistance is provided while the caregiver participates in the support group.
Kinship Care Support Services
Washington State Department of Social Services
Provides lists of services in Washington State including a list of support groups and resource persons for grandparents and relatives raising children.
Provides services including peer-to-peer support groups, monthly adult and teen workshops, children's activities, summer and holiday camps, adult support groups, and more to Cuyahoga County, OH, grandparents raising grandchildren. The program also offers teen leadership and entrepreneurial activities and is working on housing for kinship families.