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Kinship Care

Grandmother and grandsonsOverview

Kinship care refers to non-parent caregivers -- grandparents, other relatives, and even family friends -- who are primary caregivers to one or more children. Although most kinship caregivers are not foster parents, they provide loving homes for and full time care of the children in their custody.

For more information, please review the rest of this page, including the relevant links.  If you have questions, our Homefinding Unit can be reached at (607) 274-5266.


Available supports

Through the Department of Social Services, non-parent caregivers in Tompkins County may be eligible for various supports to help provide for the needs of the children in their care.  Supports available through Federal and State programs administered by the Department include

Please click on the links above for more information about these supports.

Kinship caregivers may also qualify receive help to access and pay for

  • transportation
  • other services and supports

For more information about those, non-parent caregivers should contact our Homefinding Unit at the phone number provided above.

The following publication from New York State may also be informative:


Kinship Navigator

For all kinship families in New York State, the Kinship Navigator provides information, referrals, and assistance via its website and toll-free telephone line. Covered topics include:

  • National, State, and Local Resources and Services for Kinship Families
  • Federal and State Laws about Kinship Care
  • Financial Assistance Grants for Kinship Families

To contact the Kinship Navigator, please


Additional Resources

The publications linked to below were developed for non-parent caregivers by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services: