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, as they have inherent capabilities for supporting and maintaining the child's family connections and cultural traditions.

Kinship statistics
The number of Idaho grandparents responsible for raising children under the age of 18. This does not include the thousands of children living informally with other relatives or close family friends.

Nationally, the number of children who live in kinship care at some point before turning 18.
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 fulfill that role. These living arrangements may be made formally through the Department of Health and Welfare's Child Protection Program or the court system, but are often arranged without formal intervention.

Often, family members voluntarily take relative children into their homes during times of family crisis.  This can be challenging legally, financially, and emotionally. If you are one of the kinship care providers in Idaho, you are not alone, and help is available.

Young African American family with two children each one on their parent's back
My Family. My Story.
Hear from children in kinship families in their own words through the My Family. My Story. annual art and expression series
Subscribe to kinship updates, resources, and activities
Idaho Kinship Family Updates
Kinship Resources
Financial assistance programs


PROGRAM NAME Kinship eligibility based on child's income eligibility based on household income and number of people in the houshold Ages Must be a biological relative Kinship non-related eligible Additional Information
TAFI (caretaker grant)  Yes No 0-18 Yes No Apply for TAFI
Medicaid Yes No 0-18* No Yes Apply for Medicaid
dental Yes No 0-18 No Yes About Dental
Snap/food stamps Yes Yes 0-18 No Yes Apply for SNAP
Infant Toddler Program  evaluation of the child evaluation of the child birth-3 No Yes Infant Toddler Program
Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) No Yes

under 13*

No Yes Apply for Child Care Assistance
wic No Yes child under 1 or parent of a child under 5 No Yes Apply for WIC

Head start

Check with your local Head Start Check with your local Head Start school aged No No Find your Local Head Start Program

School meals

kinship foster placements, if any member of the household receives TAFI  "caretaker grant," SNAP, TANF or FDRIP. Depends school aged No No Apply at your local school
Tax credit information Dependent Status for tax filing purposes   See IRS   See IRS

Earned Income Tax Credit

Federal Adoption Tax Credit

Pub 501: Qualifying Child Test

      *over 13 with a disability      


Legal resources: guardianship & power of attorney
Kinship Navigation

Resource and Service Navigation identifies and develops resources, utilizing them to support struggling families so they may achieve stability.

What we do

  • Identify and develop resources and services that help individuals and families meet their basic needs through developing viable customized service plans focused on family strengths and community supports
  • Develop goals and action steps which are likely to achieve the intended result of the plan
  • Organize and actively case manage service plans
  • Work with communities, agencies and other department programs to develop or assist in the stabilization of assets and resources
  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives

who do we serve

Individuals, children, and families who may benefit from one-on-one assistance in developing a service plan to meet their goals for stability, self-sufficiency, and health and safety.

How to request a navigation referral for services

For a referral to Navigation contact the 2-1-1 CareLine by dialing 211 (Monday – Friday between 8 am and 6 pm MT) and ask for a Navigation referral. A Navigator will make contact within two business days of the day the referral is made.


Support groups

Regional Support Groups

Region 1

Relatives as Parents:

Region 2

  • Currently, no support groups listed for Region 2

Region 3 & 4

Idaho Relatives as Parents (IRAP):

Region 5

Kinship/GAP support group:
  • Shawna Wasko - 208-736-2126
  • Grandparents United for Change: Myril Houk -  208-430-4292

Region 6

Kinship Care Support:
  • Contact this local Area Agency on Aging for current support group information: 208-233-4032 or email:

Region 7

Respite resources

Find lifespan respite information through your local Area Agency on Aging at:

Find respite programs in Idaho - Idaho Caregiver Alliance resource library.

Find respite FAQs here.

Education & training
Kinship in Idaho
My Family.  My Story.
MFMS Archives
Kinship national resources

Generations United

Coping with Unique Challenges Video Series

Taking Care of Yourself While Raising Your Grandchildren

Kinship and Children's Bureau

Resources for Caregivers




Our free online Family and Community Services (FACS) library consists of a collection of kinship-related books, games, DVDs, videos, and audio media. Our library materials have resources and information that include trauma, adult and children's mental wellness, education, adoption, foster care, and clinical resources for professionals. Materials are available in English and include a selection of Spanish. We encourage you to browse through our collection to find the resources most helpful to you.  

All library books, games, DVDs, videos, and audio media are free and will be delivered directly to your door.  A pre-paid postage envelope will be included for free returns.

CHECK oUT our current FEATURES!

Visit the FACS Library

Log-in name: FACS Library -no password required-

Kinship caregiver selection

Grandparents as Parents:  A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family by Sylvie De Toledo

Children's & youth selections

Robert Lives with his Grandparents by Martha Whitmore Hickman

Spanish selection

1,2,3, Respira: Para Ninos de 3 a 10 anos by Carla Naumburg

Foster selection

Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years by Katie Jae Naftzger

Clinical/Provider selection

 Anger Management Workbook for Kids:  50 Fun Activities to Help Children Stay Calm and Make Better Choices When they Feel Mad by Samantha Snowden

Man with glasses and a beard reading a book with an orange cover.
Learn more about our library and how you can access our helpful resources

Lifespan Caregiving

One in every four Idahoans is a family caregiver. Every day, moms, dads, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, friends, and neighbors are performing complex medical tasks and managing the daily needs of those dearest to them. 

Caregiving across a lifespan is caregiving that occurs throughout one's life between birth and death and includes developmental needs, health and physical needs, and other issues in adulthood, midlife and at the end-of-life.

Resources and support are available for caregivers and those they are caring for each day.  

Daughter and daughter caregiver having coffee in the kitchen.
Resource guide
AARP's Resource Guide for Idaho family caregivers

Caregiving resources

Find resources and learn more about respite, caregiver training and tips, and support groups.
Find resources and learn more about respite, programs, services, caregiver training and tips, and support groups.
Find resources and learn more about respite, programs, services, caregiver training and tips, and support groups.
Resources and support

Caregiver self-assessment questionnaire

This questionnaire can help caregivers look at their own behavior and health risks. With their healthcare provider's help, this questionnaire can also help caregivers make decisions that may benefit both the caregiver and the person they are caring for.

Idaho Caregiver Alliance

The Idaho Caregiver Alliance is a coalition of individuals and organizations focused on expanding opportunities for respite across the lifespan.

Respite FAQs

Find information and resources available for caregivers.

Idaho Commission on Aging - Ombudsman Services

Advocating for the rights of long-term care residents. Idaho's long-term care ombudsmen are available to protect the health, safety, and welfare of individuals residing in a facility.


Connects individuals to services for older adults and their families.

Caregiver Action Network

Includes a caregiver help desk, resources and information on caregiving by topic: general help, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, cancer caregiving, and caregiving for persons with disabilities and rare diseases.



Respite is a break from caregiving. Respite is time away, if only for a few hours, to recharge your own batteries. Respite can be a walk in the park, lunch with a friend, or simply reading a book in another room without fear that you’ll be interrupted. Respite can be planned (like a vacation)  or can come up suddenly with an offer from a friend. Respite can be paid for or provided by family members, friends, or volunteers at no charge. Respite can take place in your home or in a facility such as a day center. For more information on the types of respite, visit the Arch National Respite page and the ABCs of Respite.

An adult helps an elderly person holding a ball
Idaho Caregiver Alliance
Find respite programs in Idaho