While extended families have always helped with child rearing, a growing number of grandparents and extended family are becoming primary caregivers.
Our Kinship Navigators Program works to advance activities and trainings that support Kinship care providers, their families, and the professionals who work with them. These programs are supported in part by the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging and the Department of Social and Health Services, Aging and Disability Services Administration.
Kinship Flyer with updated Zoom Meeting Information
For more information, volunteer opportunities, donations or to schedule an appointment please contact: Lynn Urvina, Kinship Services Director.
Kinship Navigators provide advocacy, information and referral services to relative caregivers. Navigating social services, school and court systems is often overwhelming. The Navigator provides information about how to access and apply for serves as well as problem solve and advocate for kinship families when issues arrive.
Kinship Support Groups
We hold support group meetings in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties. Children activities* provided while caregivers meet to discuss challenges and support one another.
Support Group Meeting Information
Kinship Care Support Program (KCSP)
The Washington State Legislature made funds available to assist lower income kinship caregivers with some basic needs. Eligible families may qualify for a one time Financial Grant to help with:
- Food, Clothing and Basic Needs
- School and Youth Activities
- Emergency Utility Assistance
- Emergency Rental Assistance
- Transition Counseling
- Transportation Assistance
Funds subject to availability. Call for more information.
Voices of Children – Raised by Relatives Contest
Family Education & Support Services hosts the annual Washington State Voices of Children contest for children and youth, ages 5-19 years of age being raised now or in the past by a relative, other than their parents. They are invited to write a short essay, poem, or submit a drawing that depicts how living with their kinship caregivers has made a positive difference in their life. Each child who enters the contest will have their artwork or written submissions included in a booklet called “Voices of Children” (without their last name or location identified).
2019 Voices of Children.
2021 Voices of Children Application
2021 Voices of Children Application – Spanish
2021 Voices of Kinship Caregivers Application
2021 Voices of Kinship Caregivers Application – Spanish