Kinship Caregivers

Are you raising a child of a family member or a family friend? Your circumstance means you have joined the community in a unique way. As a kinship caregiver, you are dealing with special dynamics, and navigating through the system in a specific way. You’re looking for family-focused resources, and we are here to help.

Almost half the children placed in out-of-home care by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) are placed with a relative or person known to the child and/or family. The financial, legal, and emotional issues of raising a relative’s child can be challenging.

We are here to help assist and provided resources for:
  · Unlicensed care of a relative placement
  · Foster licensing to care for a relative placement
  · Guardianship
  · R-Gap
  · Adoption

In addition to the Resource Library listed below, you may need more individualized support. Please feel free to contact our Kinship Coordinator, Luanne Marshall by email lmarsh3@uw.edu or call 206-221-4913. 

Please fill out this form for more information on fostering and a member of the CaRES team will contact you with an email and phone call introducing you to our program and to see how we may help support you. 


Join Luanne on the 4th Tuesday of the month for a Kinship caregiver specific Lunch with Luanne. She will be there answering questions about Guardianships, R-Gap, Unlicensed/Licensed services and and offering supports.

Drop in sessions from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Click here to join the Zoom session.

If you are interested in starting the licensing process and interested to learn more, check out all the weeks of Lunch with Luanne!

Resource Library

Foster Parenting and Kinship Care Newsletter

News, information and updates from The Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Kinship Navigators and Support Groups

A directory of Kinship Navigators, resource persons, and support groups.

Taking Care of Yourself While Raising Your Grandchildren

Focusing on your physical, mental and financial health is critical if you are your grandchild’s primary caregiver. Find resources for legal, health, financial and other needs in this article from RetireGuide.

Child-Only TANF

Child-only TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). This type of TANF is not based on income and kinship caregivers are eligible in most instances. You can apply for TANF online.

How to Apply for Child-Only TANF

Our partners at the Department of Social and Health Services developed this video to walk you through how to complete a TANF application.

Did You Know? - Services and Supports for Grandparents and Relatives Raising Children

The resource guide covers multiple services and resources available to kinship caregivers.

Options for Grandparents and Other Nonparental Caregivers

There are a variety of legal issues that many relatives raising children face. To help provide information, chick the link for DSHS resource list.

Commonly Used Acronyms

A guide to help you understand commonly used acronyms in Children’s Services.

Stay Up-to-Date

Sign up to receive monthly schedules and highlights of upcoming trainings you might be interested in!

Journey Toward Licensure

Becoming licensed as a kinship care provider offers all the benefits and supports that a foster parent gets. You will go through the same licensing process.

The Child Welfare Team

A guide to the different roles of people associated with a child welfare case.

Foster Parent and Kinship Caregiver FAQs

More helpful information on being a foster parent.

Adoption and Guardianship for Children in Kinship Foster Care

This chart is designed to help kinship foster parents compare adoption and guardianship as two options that you and the children in your care can pursue to exit foster care and create permanent families.

LGBTQIA+ Resources

The CaRES program has a new site as a one stop for LGBTQIA+ resources. If you missed the CaRES kicking off PRIDE Month Celebration, listen to the recording to learn about different eras of PRIDE and hear stories and resources. Discover and sign up for one of our LGBTQIA+ support groups. Learn how to show support from day one with FREE PRIDE + CaRES items!

Kinship Core Training (KCT)

KCT is designed to help kinship caregivers develop the skills they need to care for children who have experienced complex trauma. KCT is intended to meet the training requirements for those kinship caregivers pursuing licensing.

The FIRST Program

Investigations can be stressful times. The FIRST Program is here to help! Get Support through an allegation. Call 866-393-6186 toll-free.

Foster Care Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence are recognized as multidisciplinary medical centers where youth in the child welfare system can receive coordinated healthcare services. Children and youth in foster care and adoption support can see high quality, trauma-informed primary care providers. These providers understand the needs of child welfare involved families.

Guide to Free and Discounts for Foster & Kinship Caregivers

Your best resource for community programs is your local CaRES Mentor. The Alliance CaRES program does not support or endorse any of the listed items; they are compiled for your convenience.

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Join us for a conversation around fetal alcohol spectrum disorders at Wellness Resource Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. https://washington.zoom.us/j/97942217041.

We will start with a 45-minute presentation by UW Harborview doctors and conclude with 45 minutes of Q&A around services of CaRES, Coordinated Care and Harborview.

Mark your calendars to make sure you take advantage of this very special event!