/ Families /
Kinship Caregiver Resources

Kinship Caregiver Resources

Kinship Grandmother With Child

Resources to Help You Navigate Care for Children

Kinship Family Support Services can help you navigate:

  • Financial challenges
  • Medical and mental health services
  • School services and supports
  • Other resources for kinship caregivers

Below are links and forms the families we serve often request.


Frequently Asked Questions

During our work with kinship caregivers - those caring for a relative or kin's child - we heard about the challenges they faced in finding access to clear and helpful information about their new role.  Here you will find links and information to some of the most frequently asked questions by kinship caregivers. 

View Kinship Caregiver Frequently Asked Questions


Financial Resources

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) - Child Only Assistance

This monthly county cash assistance (MFIP) and supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) food offers benefits for children who are living with close relatives.

MFIP Child Only Assistance

To Apply: Complete the Combined Application Form and send to the county where the child resides.

Printable application
Online application
County and Tribal Nations Offices

Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration may provide survivor benefits to grandparents who have adopted grandchildren, based on the child’s parent’s death or disability, or benefits based on the child’s disability.

Social Security for Parents and Guardians | SSA
Social Security and Children
Phone: 1.800.772.1213
Web: www.socialsecurity.gov

Bridge to Benefits

Determine your eligibility for public programs and tax credits. It’s free and confidential.

Early Learning Scholarships

Learn about your eligibility for early learning education scholarships for children in families with limited income. Scholarships may be available to children are three or four years old, and some children under age two may also qualify.


Health Care Coverage (Medical Assistance (MA) and Medicaid)


Health care coverage is available to children with limited or no income. You can request free help from an assister to apply for health coverage.

Online application
Paper application
Call MNSure to find an assister: 855.366.7873
Medical Assistance Help Desk: 651.431.2670
The Minnesota tribal and county directory can help you with questions about Minnesota Health Care Programs.

Portico Health Net

Minnesota health care coverage assistance is available through enrollment events and by appointment.

Paper application
Phone: 651.489.2273
Web: www.porticohealthnet.org
Medical Assistance Help Desk: 651.431.2670
The Minnesota tribal and county directory can help you with question about MN Health Care Programs.


Child Protection and Foster Care

Minnesota Child Protection System

Minnesota’s child protection system responds to allegations of maltreatment and abuse, and helps support families to safely care for their children.

Child Protection

Family Matters: Information for Relatives Considering Becoming Foster Parents
Paths to Permanency: Overview of legal issues and financial supports regarding adoption and custody options for relatives and foster families
Find Minnesota county and tribal child protection phone numbers. If a child is in immediate risk of harm, call your local law enforcement agency or dial 911.



Special Education

If you are caring for a child that may need, or is currently receiving special education services, you may need to file for custody or adoption of the child, or become a surrogate parent to represent them in educational services.


Legal and Informal Options

Adoption and Guardianship, Minnesota Comparison Chart

This chart is designed to help kinship foster parents compare adoption and guardianship as two options that you and the children in your care can pursue.

Child Custody and Parenting Time (Visitation)

Learn about child custody options, parenting time, the emergency custody process and forms.

Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA)

A Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA) is a document that lets someone take care of your children when you can’t. This is a non-court form.

LawHelp MN

Find legal help by zip code and your legal issue.
Find Minnesota Legal Advice Online and Legal Clinics.

Kinship Caregiving Options

This publication—helps kinship families and the professionals who assist them compare caregiving options. It provides a broad, national overview about the choices and considerations to support caregivers in making informed decisions about the pathways to pursue.

Third Party Custody

Third party custody forms and instructions for starting a court case to establish custody of a child who is not your own.


Kinship Family Support Services


Connect with us: