Webinar / Webcast

OFA Webinar: Engaging TANF Child-Only Cases Using Kinship Navigator Programs

More than half the caseload of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program consists of child-only cases, in which a child receives TANF cash assistance but the parent or caregiver does not. The most common type of child-only case is a nonparent caregiver case, consisting of children being cared for by someone other than their parents, often a grandparent. Research suggests that nonparent caregiver cases are often vulnerable with many unmet needs and that the children in these cases share characteristics with children living in foster care: mental health conditions, school-related problems, and experience with trauma. Kinship navigator programs can be an important tool for supporting these families. Most states are developing or expanding these programs, and the federal government has provided funding in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to state and eligible tribal child welfare agencies to develop, enhance, or evaluate kinship navigator programs. The Family First Prevention Services Act amended the Social Security Act to allow title IV-E agencies to receive funding for kinship navigator programs that meet certain evidence-based criteria; see ACYF-CB-PI-18-11 for program requirements.

On July 16, 2019, the Office of Family Assistance, in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau, sponsored a webinar that featured kinship navigator programs operating in three states and the services they offer to nonparent caregivers. Arizona Kinship Support Services connects kinship families to government benefits, links them to legal services, and helps them navigate existing community support systems. California’s UWCA-211-iFoster Kinship Navigator Collaborative provides an online, self-service resource portal for kinship families that coordinates public and private resources based on the families’ individual needs and preferences. The New York State Kinship Navigator provides an information and referral network for kinship caregivers statewide. In addition to these three states, the webinar featured a representative from the Children’s Bureau who discussed the federal funding available for kinship navigator programs and a representative from the Assisting Special Populations to Improve Readiness and Engagement (ASPIRE) study team who shared information on TANF child-only cases.

New York
Supportive Services
Child Care
Child Welfare
Special Populations
Child Only Cases
TANF Program Administration
Publication Date
Section/Feed Type
PeerTA Resources (OFA Initiatives)