Kinship Program

What is Kinship?

A kinship care arrangement is when children are living full time with their grandparents, other relatives, or near relatives (such as family friends, godparents, etc), and these adults have taken on the parental role for the children. Sometimes kinship care is temporary, and sometimes it becomes a permanent family arrangement, possibly leading to legal guardianship or adoption.

What is KSSP?

KSSP (Kinship Support Services Program) is a state funded program designed to provide qualifying California Counties with resources to improve the support of and outcomes for families formed through kinship care. KidsFirst is the kinship provider for Placer County.

What is the Need?

It is estimated that over 600,000 grandparents in California are raising their grandchildren, which gives California the highest such number in the nation. In addition to grandparents, other relatives find themselves raising children adding to this alarming national trend.

How KSSP Helps

KidsFirst Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP) is designed to provide support to kinship families, particularly those formed voluntarily and informally without the assistance of a child welfare agency. We understand that kinship families are often formed suddenly and out of crisis. No one is ever prepared for this type of situation and that’s where KSSP can help. Think of KSSP as your “one stop” kinship shop. Our trained staff is there to meet your needs and answer your questions, or help you find someone who can.

KSSP provides support to relative caregivers who are struggling with the challenges of raising kin, and to those families who want to connect with other families in their same situation. Through outreach and collaboration with other community based organizations, KidsFirst is uniquely positioned to offer the following support services in Placer County:

  • In-home Support
  • Counseling
  • Support Groups
  • Respite
  • Advocacy
  • Information & Referrals
  • Assistance with Basic Needs
  • Legal Referrals
  • Guardianship & Adoption Assistance
  • Family Activities
  • Play Care
  • Mentoring
  • Children’s Recreation and Youth Leadership Development
  • Tutoring & Homework Help

Impact on the Children

  • Relative foster placements are more stable than placements with unrelated foster families.
  • Siblings are less likely to be separated.
  • Children maintain community, cultural, and family connections.
  • Relatives are often willing to adopt or become permanent guardians when reunification is not possible.

Impact on our community

Seeking to strengthen the family unit and prevent children from entering the child welfare system, KSSP is preventative in nature, and works to keep children safely within their extended families. By receiving kinship support services, these families thrive and juvenile homelessness, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, alcohol/drug abuse and incarceration is drastically reduced.

Resources and Links


iFoster is provides resources to help raise our most vulnerable children, providing programs that provide life changing resources for at-risk children and youth to put them on the path to becoming independent successful adults.  To access iFoster resources, click here.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System (Fact Sheets for Families). These fact sheets address a number of topics relevant for kinship caregivers: