—or formal and informal kinship families—are families in which children are being raised by grandparents, other extended family members, or adults with whom children have a close relationship, such as godparents or family friends. Currently across states, territories, and tribes, there are more children being raised in grandfamilies outside of the child welfare system
than being raised by kin in the child welfare system. There are many reasons grandfamilies come together: abuse and neglect, parent military deployment, incarceration, parents coping with substance misuse or mental health issues, serious illness, or death. Research and practice demonstrates that connections with kin are essential to child development and behavioral health outcomes—particularly for children who are experiencing family crises that can be traumatic. In fact, compared to children living with non-relative foster parents, children in grandfamilies experience greater stability and better behavioral health outcomes
. Caregivers who lead grandfamilies are often able to step in at a moment’s notice to provide loving homes and care for children, yet they face unique challenges in addressing legal, financial, educational, and housing needs. This webinar will help early care and education (ECE) providers and program leaders learn about the important strengths and challenges faced by grandfamilies.
This webinar is intended for ECE providers who work with infants, toddlers, and young children from birth up through third grade, practitioners in ECE and early elementary school settings, and program leaders.