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Help Keep Home in the Family

Up to five percent of children in the United States are growing up without either parent. Grandparents, other relatives, and family friends step up for the majority, ensuring children who can't live safely with their parents stay with their family.

However, kinship families find their willingness is not met with the support and resources they need to raise up healthy children. Kinship families need help and they need a village. Implementing a Kinship Navigator Program will offer hope to families in practical and real ways.

Foster Kinship's Navigator Model closes the gap experienced by kinship families by providing evidence-based programming to strengthen caregivers' capacity to provide safe, stable, and nurturing homes for vulnerable children. The model is proven to provide the stability grandparents and other kin caregivers need to help their children overcome trauma, neglect, and abuse.

Learn More at our Next Information Session

Join our next information session on July 10th at 9AM PST to learn more about the Foster Kinship Navigator Model and how it can ensure more safe, stable, and nurturing childhoods for children living in kinship care.

CLICK HERE to register for our next session!

Why it Works

Foster Kinship's Navigator Model provides targeted information, referral, support, basic needs, and case management. Each navigator service is designed to provide and connect kinship families to support, provide technical assistance, and tangible help to strengthen kinship family's capacity to provide safe, stable, and nurturing homes (Preston, 2021A; Preston 2021B).

Foster Kinship's model is designed to serve any type of kinship caregiver (defined as both relatives and fictive kin) raising children in nonparental care (neither parent resides in the home) in a defined jurisdiction: 1. Formal/Inside Families, 2. Informal/Outside Families, 3. Kinship Families in Transition, and 4. Families who have adopted.

Program Goals

The first goal is to build a safe foundation for children by meeting the immediate needs of the kinship family.

The second goal is to provide the most stable home for children by strengthening the kinship family legally and financially.

The final goal is to meet the well-being needs of children by increasing caregivers' capacity to provide nurturing parenting.

Program Objectives

The model aims to support kinship families through Intake and Assessment and Case Management.

Through Intake and Assessment the model focuses on aiding new caregivers by connecting them to accurate information, at the right time, so kinship caregivers can make the best decisions for their families. Families that may need additional support can qualify for Case Management. These services focus on four short-term outcome domains: Legal Capacity, Financial Stability, Caregiver Emotional Support, and Parenting & Child Community Connection.

Providing these support services enables families to achieve the critical goals linked with child well-being such as adequate financial support and legal capacity. By increasing family stability in those four areas, the Kinship Navigator Model increases the safety, stability, and nurturing capacity of the kinship home.

Children raised in safe, stable, and nurturing homes are more likely to overcome the challenges of early childhood trauma to experience typical adulthood.

Model Implementation

There are four phases to implement Foster Kinship's Navigator Model:

We want to ensure this model is accessible to all agencies working with kinship caregivers. The following information and timeframe for each phase can be tailored to the needs of the jurisdiction.

To learn more about model implementation, please contact Leah Dods at

Phase 1: Strategic Planning

Foster Kinship will execute a licensing contract with the IV-E agency. This contract will formalize our partnership and ensure clear terms and responsibilities.

We will provide assistance with the development of Scope of Work (SOW) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) to help the IV-E agency subcontract non-profit organizations. This will target and select ideal partners for the implementation of the model.

Strategic planning meetings will be conducted with the IV-E agency's designated point of contact (POC) for implementation. These meetings will focus on outlining clear steps, setting goals, and ensuring a seamless integration of our model.

In addition to working with the IV-E agency, we will also establish partnerships with selected non-profit organizations. A licensing contract between each non-profit agency and Foster Kinship will formalize these collaborations.

Strategic planning meetings will also be held with the non-profits' designated POCs for implementation. These meetings will ensure alignment, address any challenges, and facilitate effective implementation of the model.

Finally, an initial assessment will be conducted to estimate the timeline and total cost of implementation. This assessment will provide a clear roadmap and budget, ensuring all parties are well-prepared for the successful deployment of the Kinship Navigator Program.

Phase 2: Deep Dive

To kickstart the implementation of the Kinship Navigator Model, the designated Point of Contact (POC) from the jurisdiction will visit Nevada for three days. This visit will provide an opportunity for the POC to see the program in action, engage with the FK team, and gain a deeper understanding of the model.

Following this, the Foster Kinship (FK) implementation team will conduct an initial site visit to the jurisdiction. This visits will allow the team to understand the local context, meet key stakeholders, and gather essential information. And if available, to begin training the non-profit partners on the model.

A thorough mapping assessment of jurisdiction resources will be conducted to identify and document available services and support for kinship families. This assessment will form the foundation for creating comprehensive Kinship Client Profiles, which will be integrated into the Resource Location Tool.

A detailed timeline of capacity-building deliverables will be established, outlining key milestones and activities to ensure the successful implementation of the program. This timeline will serve as a roadmap for all involved parties.

To support data management and streamline processes, a customized Salesforce database will be developed for the jurisdiction. This database will facilitate efficient tracking and reporting of kinship care activities and outcomes.

Additionally, a Resource Locator Tool tailored for the jurisdiction will be created. This tool will enable kinship families to easily find and access the resources they need, enhancing their ability to provide stable and nurturing homes for children.

By following these steps, the FK implementation team will ensure a thorough, well-planned, and effective rollout of the Kinship Navigator Program in the new jurisdiction, ultimately benefiting kinship families and the children in their care.

Phase 3: Capacity Building

As part of the comprehensive implementation of the Kinship Navigator Program, a cloud-based Jurisdiction Toolkit will be developed based on the initial mapping assessment. This toolkit will include all relevant applications, referral forms, processes, and resources, specifically tied to local resources, ensuring that kinship families have easy access to necessary support and information.

To provide clear guidance for formal kinship caregivers, a detailed roadmap will be created. This roadmap will outline the steps and processes involved in becoming a formal kinship caregiver, offering essential information and support.

Additionally, a Diversion Guide tailored for the jurisdiction will be developed. This guide will help kinship families understand their options and make informed decisions about the care of the children in their care.

A Basic Video Library will be established, featuring informational sessions on child welfare, legal options, and financial resources. These videos will serve as a valuable resource for kinship families, providing them with crucial information in an easily accessible format.

Pre-screens for legal and financial resources specific to the jurisdiction will be created to help kinship families determine their eligibility and access the support they need efficiently.

The Kinship Navigator manual will be updated to reflect the unique needs and resources of the jurisdiction. This updated manual will serve as a comprehensive guide for implementing the program locally.

To ensure the effective implementation of the Kinship Navigator Program, 80 hours of training, technical support, and coaching will be provided to the staff of implementing non-profits. This support will equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the program successfully and provide high-quality support to kinship families.

Through these carefully planned steps, the Kinship Navigator Program will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the jurisdiction, providing robust support and resources to kinship families and ensuring the program's success.

Phase 4: Implementation and Monitoring

The implementation of the Kinship Navigator Program will include the use of Foster Kinship's registered trademarks and copyrighted materials, ensuring that all branding and program content align with our established standards of excellence.

To maintain program fidelity and track progress, monthly fidelity checks and dashboard reporting will be conducted. These checks will ensure that the program is being implemented as intended and that any necessary adjustments can be made promptly.

Every six months, on-site training and skill-building sessions will be provided. These sessions will help ensure that staff remain proficient in program delivery and are equipped with the latest best practices.

Participants will have access to the Foster Kinship Training Institute's extensive library of videos and resources. This library will serve as an ongoing educational resource, supporting continuous learning and improvement.

Real-time program updates will be available to keep everyone informed about the latest developments, ensuring that the program remains current and effective.

An additional 80 hours of technical support will be provided to the IV-E agency, non-profit organizations, and/or their subcontractors. This support will help address any challenges that arise and ensure smooth implementation and operation of the program.

Through these comprehensive support measures, the Kinship Navigator Program will be effectively implemented and maintained, providing consistent and high-quality support to kinship families.

Our Partners

Children's Service Society of Utah
South Carolina Department of Social Services, HALOS, Epworth Children's Home, and Middle Tyger Community Center
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