About Kinship and Caregiving

Kinship care refers to the care and protection of a child by relatives, members of their tribe, step-parents, or close family friends (also referred to as fictive kin). Relatives or fictive kin are the preferred placement for children who must be removed from their birth parents because they will maintain the children's family connections and cultural traditions.

Idaho Kinship Program

Idaho has tens of thousands of kinship caregivers who take on the role of parenting when the child’s parents are unable to. These living arrangements may be made formally through a social service agency but are most often arranged without formal intervention. Family members voluntarily take the children into their homes during times of family crisis.  

This can be challenging from legal, financial, and emotional standpoints. If you are one of the kinship care providers in Idaho, you are not alone, and help is available.

Grandmother holding baby
2-1-1 Idaho CareLine
Learn more about kinship resources from the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine
Idaho resources, services and supports


Provides emergency and short-term assistance to families so children may be cared for in their homes or in the homes of relatives. Contact the Idaho CareLine by dialing 211 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MT) Monday – Friday) and ask for Navigation Services.  


Information about financial assistance, health and dental insurance, early childhood education, intervention services for developmentally and physically disabled children, and food assistance programs.
Legal Services

Information about custodial arrangements, legal actions, legal forms, and legal services. 

Support groups

Information about finding a support group near you. 

TAFI grant

Also known as the Relative Caretaker or Grandparent Grant, eligible households can receive up to $309 per month to help offset the cost of caring for a child. Caretakers must be related, and income criteria is based on the child’s income.

Children’s Medicaid

Covers children under the age of 19 years who meet certain eligibility criteria. Income criteria is based on the child’s income.


You can receive TAFI cash assistance on a monthly basis to help make ends meet.

Who's eligible
Children's Medicaid covers children under the age of 19 years who meet certain eligibility criteria.
Kinship statistics
Grandparents in Idaho responsible for children under the age of 18. This does not account for the thousands of children living informally with other relatives or close family friends.
Children nationally who live in kinship care at some point before turning 18