Kinship Navigator Program

Are you a kinship caregiver who needs help navigating the system of support available to you? Our Kinship Navigator Program can help!

To enroll in the Kinship Navigator program, download our referral form and contact your local Kinship Navigator

What is the Kinship Navigator Program?
The Kinship Navigator Program serves as a one-stop shop for information and referral services to grandparents, relatives and other caregivers who are currently raising a child.

Why was this program implemented?
The Kinship Navigator Program started more than 10 years ago as a state and county initiative to provide information, referral and follow-up to grandparents and other relatives raising children to link them to the benefits and services that they or the children need. Based on the success of these early programs, advocates sought to obtain support at the national level to expand the Kinship Navigator Program into more areas. These advocacy efforts resulted in the authorization of Family Connection Grants through the passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. 

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has launched this program in direct response to the increasing number of grandparents and other caregivers who have assumed responsibility for raising another relatives' child(ren). As of 2013, 16 percent of all children in another's care are placed with kin. The Kinship Navigator Program is designed to support and assist relative caregivers, understanding the importance of keeping children within their family unit, when their biological parent cannot adequately provide for them. 

Who does the Kinship Navigator Program serve?
A kinship caregiver serves as a short or long-term caregiver for relative child(ren). A kinship caregiver can be a grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or anyone who has established a 'kin-like' bond with the child(ren). The majority of kinship care arrangements are informal, private arrangements between parents and relative caregivers, while other situations arise as a result of involvement with the child welfare system. Kinship caregivers may also apply for child support services at no cost at their local Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) office or by completing an application for services through the DCSS Customer Online Services

Kinship Navigator Program scope
The Kinship Navigator Program has 15 kinship navigators that are located statewide. The kinship navigators assist kinship families in identifying and locating resources within their local community. The program’s overarching goal is to close the gaps and/or delays with service delivery to kinship caregivers. DHS focuses on providing a responsive strength-based supportive role to our kinship families. 

Kinship Navigator Program goals

  • Help caregivers understand and access programs and services available to them.       
  • Develop proactive ways to address caregiver needs and develop an informal and formal support system.
  • Create a safe and supportive home environment for children outside of foster care, including assisting with family planning, early identification of needs for additional services such as therapy, counseling, educational and/or mental health services.

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