The Philadelphia Department of Human Services celebrates this September as Kinship Care Month. We recognize caregivers for stepping up to take care of a child or youth when they are unsafe in their home or their parents are unable to care for them. Kinship caregivers can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, an adult sibling, family friends or even a teacher. They help children maintain connections to their family ties, culture, and community. Often kinship caregivers volunteer to take care of children without formal support. Other times, a connection is made through the child welfare system. In fact, many children in foster homes are cared for by kinship caregivers.

And often kinship caregivers need and deserve support, too. There many supports available to you.

Read on to discover how kinship families can get help in their journey through food, educational opportunities, specialized trainings, respite care, and financial support. There are also informational resources for you to access to help you and your family thrive. Check out these resources for foster and kinship caregivers.

Cash money: Tapping into financial resources

Let’s be real: children are expensive! Did you know you can apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)? It is a monthly cash payment to help support the children you are raising. You can get free one-on-one help to apply for public benefits through BenePhilly.

Achieving excellence: Educating yourself to support dreams

  • Give your little ones a good social, mental, and physical start with PHLpreK. There are 150 centers throughout Philadelphia that offer free, quality pre-K. Enroll your child now.
  • It’s never too late to learn! Continue your own education with the City of Philadelphia and our partners with free adult education classes, including reading, writing, math, basic computer classes, high school equivalency preparation, and English for speakers of other languages. Get started today.

Get in my tummy: Staying strong with the proper food and nutrition

  • Use this online food finder that makes it easy to find free, nutritious food right in your neighborhood!
  • You can also apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, through BenePhilly to help pay for groceries each month.

Wellness first: Find a local support network

Kinship caregivers don’t need to take the caregiving journey alone. Find a support network through the local Grands as Parents non-profit organization to engage with other kinship families just like yours.