Adoption can be a very useful legal relationship option for some relative headed families.

Care & Custody

By "care and custody," we mean the state laws that govern the continuum of legal relationship options.


Accessing educational services for the children in their care.


Federal Child Welfare Kinship Laws

Helps connect foster children with their relatives and promotes permanent families through guardianship. 

Financial Assistance

Federal legal requirements for sources of financial assistance for relatives raising children.

Kinship Foster Care & Licensing

This topic area addresses policies that treat relatives differently from non-relatives providing foster care.




This topic area addresses state policy responses to facilitate grandfamilies' access to health care.


Although housing is an issue for many Americans, grandparent and other relative caregivers face certain unique barriers.

Kinship Navigator Programs

Provides information, referral, and follow-up services to grandparents and other relatives raising children.

National Family Caregiver Support Program

Federal dollars fund Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to provide supportive services to relatives aged 55 and older who are raising children, in addition to family caregivers of older individuals.


Notification & Engagement of Relatives

The Fostering Connections Act requires states to identify and notify relatives when children are removed from their parents’ homes.

Guardianship Assistance

The Fostering Connections Act allows states to use federal dollars to finance guardianship assistance programs (GAP).