Kinship Services

Kinship care refers to a family structure in which a child is being raised by a relative other than his or her biological parent. The caregiver(s) may be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or even “fictive kin” meaning a close family friend, “auntie,” godparent, or other significant family connection.

Caregivers may have legal or physical custody of the child, a legal guardianship plan, or they may be fostering through social services or have legally adopted the child. Kinship caregivers step forward for a variety of reasons, and CHS is grateful for the time and love that is given.

As children often come to reside with relatives due to loss or trauma in their birth home, they may have emotional or behavioral needs that impact their home life, social skills, or education. Certain situations, memories or feelings may trigger difficult behaviors. CHS has served families for more than 100 years, and our staff is equipped to help caregivers address these challenges.

Federal legislation is in process that will better support kinship families. CHS knows that kinship families thrive when they have information, support, and feel empowered to meet their child’s needs.

We are here to help.

CHS offers the following Kinship Services:

Training opportunities: Caregivers can attend sessions on understanding trauma, trauma-informed behavioral interventions, attachment, and the ways our own past can influence the care we provide for others.

Support Groups: CHS would love to connect kinship caregivers with other members of the community who are also parenting a relative. This will give caregivers an opportunity to discuss challenging situations and share successes.

Resources: There are several resources available to kinship caregivers. We can connect you to those resources in order to meet your specific medical, financial and mental health needs.

If you are interested in any of these services or would like to learn more please contact: Lauren Weidner, Training and Community Engagement Manager at or 804-353-0191 ext. 330.