The Philadelphia Department of Human Services celebrates this September as Kinship Care Month. We want to thank the caregivers who step up to take care of a child or youth when they are unsafe in their home. Or when the youth’s parents are unable to care for them.

Kinship caregivers can be grandparents, aunts, or uncles. They can be cousins, an adult sibling, family friends, or even a teacher. They help children maintain family ties, culture, and community connections. Often kinship caregivers volunteer to take care of children without formal support. Other times, the child welfare system makes the connection. In fact, kinship caregivers care for many children in foster homes.

Kinship caregivers need and deserve support. There is help available for food accessibility and education. There are specialized trainings, respite care, and financial support, too. Check out these list of resources for more information.

Cash money: Tapping into financial resources

Let’s be honest: 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! Adult learners can continue their own education with free adult education classes. Next Level Learning offers classes in:
    • reading
    • writing
    • math
    • basic computer classes
    • high school equivalency preparation
    • English for speakers of other languages.Get started today.

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

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

Parenting is hard: Tap into these resources for support

Improve your parenting skills and relationships with your children. Learn about free parenting education and support groups.

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. The local organization can connect you with other kinship families.