OCFS Kinship Programs
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) funds local kinship programs that serve specific counties in New York State, providing case management and other assistance to kinship caregivers. Please click on each individual program for more information. For a completelisting of kinship programs, please visit the county resource page.
OCFS Kinship OnlineTraining – Addessing Caregiver Challenges
Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth – KFACT Program
975 Hertel Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14226
Ph: (716) 862-4212
The Kinship Caregivers Program is a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive program designed to ensure safe, healthy, permanent homes for children within the family system. The Berkshire KFACT Program utilizes a comprehensive approach that aligns with the agency’s current foster care and prevention programming, providing case management services, training, and support groups to Kinship Families. The purpose of the program is to strengthen the family’s ability to function effectively and independently. KFACT will provide preventive services to bolster kinship family functioning, prevent placement, or acheive quicker, successful permanency for those in formal care. Serves Erie County.
Catholic Family Center – KIN
87 N. Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14604
(585) 546-7220 x4802
It can be overwhelming to help raise the child of a family member when the parent(s) cannot. Grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles often become the non-parent caregivers for the children of a family
member when the parent(s) is unable to raise them.
Catholic Family Center is here to help you with this important responsibility.
Catholic Family Center Staff can:
• Meet you in your home.
• Provide you with referrals and connect you to services and resources. Serves Monroe County.
Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency (CSCAA) Kinship Care Program
89 York St.
Auburn, NY 13021
Services include: Continued assessment of Kinship families using trauma focused screenings, referral to trauma informed case management services, advocacy to families including court visits, linkage to community resources including those offered at CSCAA, outreach to promote community awareness of services available, coordination/collaboration with other service systems to assist families, information and education for strengthening families, crisis intervention services, and support groups.
Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, Inc.
194 US Oval
P.O. Box 2640
800-540-2273 (toll free)
(518) 561-4999 x103
The Child Care Council is a resource and referral agency working to improve the quality and availability of child care and provides referral services to parents seeking child care in Clinton and Franklin Counties.
This program currently offers a once a month mutual support group for Kinship caregivers and a children’s program simultaneously. The group runs the 3rd Monday or every month (unless a Holiday) from 5-7pm and pizza is provided for both adults and children.
The program also offers information and referral services, developmental screening for children birth to 5 years old, court mandated Supervised Visitation, and playgroups. The agency website is www.ccccnc.org where a calendar can be found for days and times for each program.
Serves Clinton County
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) Dutchess County
2715 Route 44, Suite 1
Millbrook, NY 12545
Ph: (845) 677-8223
Fax: (845) 677-6563
The Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) was designed to encourage and promote the creation of services for grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the biological parents. There are numerous reasons why grandparents and other relative caregivers are being called upon to rear children. But generally, they have one common thread: they are stepping in due to a family crisis. Relative caregivers report that they are raising children for many reasons, such as:
- teen pregnancy
- an adult parent’s substance abuse
- financial problems
Coffee and Conversation Support Groups
RAPP provides accessible support groups and other supportive services to relative caregivers and the children in their care. RAPP focuses on the needs of a growing number of families with youth being parented by kinship caregivers, many of which are grandparents. The primary goal of the mutual support groups, or “Coffee and Conversation”, is to help the participants find an environment that provides comfort and safety for the expression of their successes and challenges as caregivers of relative children. The secondary goal is to assist caregivers to learn from and help each other (i.e. peer mentoring, informal care giving among families, etc.).
The outcomes of the support groups are to assist kinship caregivers in locating resources in the community to address financial, mental health, and legal issues; improve family relationships through access to educational resources and trainings; and for kinship caregivers to find comfort in expressing their successes and challenges in a safe and supportive environment. Twice a year the support groups will join together for special events: the winter holiday party and summer picnic. The purpose of these events is to provide encouragement and fun for kinship care families.
Inter-generational activities bring together individuals of different ages as partners to explore, study, and work towards a shared goal. These activities foster cooperation and promote interaction among generations including youth and older adults. RAPP Inter-generational activities are designed to improve family relationships, teamwork and communication. Some examples of previous RAPP Inter-generational programs are:
- Annual RAPP Summer Picnic
- Family Day at Camp Ramapo
- Ellis Island Family Heritage Day
- Grandparents Day Cruise on the Hudson River
The formal term for getting a break is respite. Many relative caregivers seek respite, but are unable to get it due to financial limitations and family stressors. RAPP provides respite to relative caregivers through a variety of events. Relative caregivers drop off the children who take part in educational and cooperative activities, while the adults take a break from the daily demands of parenting. Time away gives them a more balanced perspective regarding the family’s strengths and challenges.
Serves Dutchess County
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County
Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP)
18 Seward Avenue, Suite 300
Middletown, NY 10940
Ph: (845) 344-1234
Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) assists grandparents and other relatives who are primary caregivers for related children. RAPP provides educational opportunities in parenting, nutrition and financial management. In addition mutual peer support groups, youth development activities and other special events are offered. RAPP participants are referred to appropriate community based services and resources as well as counseling and legal information.
Serves Orange County
Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca
127 W. State St
Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel (607) 273-7494
Fax (607) 273-7484
Serves Tompkins County
Family Enrichment Network: Kinship Caregiver Program
24 Cherry Street
Johnson City, NY 13790
(607) 723-8313 x821(Deb)
(607) 723-8313 x831 (Diane)
The Kinship Care Program will provide information, advocacy, counseling, referrals and resources to any adult who is raising someone else’s child. This means:
Advocacy to help kinship caregivers apply for the Non-Parent Caregiver grant, Medicaid and child care subsidy (if applicable) at the Department of Social Services. Also assistance with free school meals (breakfast & lunch)
- Legal advocacy with Family Court paperwork and understanding the Family Court process
- Counseling for kinship caregivers, kinship children and kinship families
- Parenting groups using the Parenting A Second Time Around curriculum
- Help line for information and referrals to available community resources
- Youth Advocate services and the Love U2 program. This program helps kinship teenagers learn about healthy relationships while participating in fun activities
- Support groups and workshops related to kinship care topics
Broome and Tioga County
Family Service Society of Yonkers
30 South Broadway
P.O. Box 437
Yonkers, NY 10701
Ph: (914) 963-5118
Fax: (914) 963-4313
Carolyn Fluckinger, Program Director
Provides case assistance and management, case advocacy, caregiver support groups, parenting and communication workshops, information and referral, family and youth events, free summer youth program, parenting and communication workshops, material assistance, grandparent grants, access to mediation, counseling and legal services.
Services Provided: This program is designed for families not requiring ongoing intensive home-based preventive services, but for those who need practical services at critical times. Services such as mentoring, tutoring, transportation assistance and specialized home visits are available for kinship families. Serves Erie County.
Jewish Board of Family And Children’s Services
Diana Masri, LMSW, John Watkins, MA, or Deborah Langosch, PhD, LCSW
2020 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 676-4241 (Diana), (718) 676-4251 (John), or (212) 632-4760 (Deborah)
The Kinship Care Program (KCP) is designed to respond to the needs of Brooklyn kin caregiving families. Kinship caregivers often assume this role due to parental abuse, neglect, death, incarceration, substance abuse, suicide, illness and/or poverty. The KCP provides emotional support, case management and advocacy, legal referrals and parent education for relative caregivers. Services include a weekly support group for kin caregivers, school support groups for children and teens living with relatives, individual counseling, referral and information, assistance with financial, medical and educational entitlements and benefits, and legal liaison. All caregivers of any age are eligible to participate in the KCP and there are no fees or insurance payments required. The staff is fluent in English and Spanish and there is no waiting list. Caregivers can also participate in educational forums and recreational events through our affiliation with the Brooklyn Grandparents’ Coalition. Serves Kings County (Brooklyn).
Leadership Training, Inc.
650 Clinton Street
Hempstead, NY 11550
Ph: (516) 483-3400
The Leadership Training Institute’s (LTI) Kinship Caregiver Program provides case management and supporting services for anyone who is raising someone else’s child.
The target populations are children and youth residing with their relative caregivers, regardless of whether the children are in Kinship Guardianship or Kinship Foster Care, are placed directly by the Court in a relative’s care, or are among the larger cohort of children residing informally with kin. This includes children placed by the court under Article 10 with LDSS supervision, or court-placed youth under Article 6 with no LDSS involvement. The target population can include kin such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as well as non-related “fictive” kin with a significant relationship to the child if they are caring for the child.
The Kinship Care Program at New Alternatives for Children (NAC) will provide a variety of services to kinship and “fictive” kin caregivers in the community. The services provided by the Kinship Care Program includes parent education trainings, support groups and case management services. Case management services consist of education advocacy including navigating the special education system, referrals to community resources, such as mental health services, recreation for children, housing and legal services, as well as advocacy and support with government entitlements. NAC’s Kinship Care Program is open to all kin and fictive kin families and also specializes in serving families who have children with complex medical and behavioral health needs, including HIV and AIDS, and developmental disabilties. Serves all 5 burroughs.
The “Kin and Kids” program offers advocacy, outreach and support to kinship caregivers residing in Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Kinship refers to relatives and other non-parent caregivers that are providing full time care for children. Children maybe living in kinship care due to a parent having issues with addiction, incarceration, child protective concerns, military deployment, mental health,
abandonment, illness or death