For children unable to remain with their parents, often the safest and most reassuring environment for them is with their caring grandparents or other extended family members whom they know, love and trust. Through our Kinship programs, we help grandparents and other relatives who have undertaken the responsibility of raising their kin children find resources for medical coverage, housing, child care, educational issues, legal issues, financial support and family support. CHSofNJ offers regular workshops, support groups and recreational activities for kin families.  Activities are for caregivers and children of all ages.

We also provide assistance for caregivers who seek legal guardianship and the right to make medical, educational and other decisions in the best interest of their children.

CHSofNJ delivers the New Jersey Kinship Navigator (Wraparound and Kinship Legal Guardian) Services in seven counties (Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Hunterdon, Somerset, Ocean and Union.).  We enrich these services with Kinship Cares Enhanced Program services and at neighborhood Family Success Centers.


Our goal is to ensure these children are placed in the best environment, with all of the love and support they deserve!


The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey provides dedicated supportive services for kin caregivers that enrich the New Jersey Navigator Program. Through the Kinship Cares Enhanced Kinship Navigator Program, ombudsmen — or advocates – develop trust and rapport with families, working intensively with caregivers through service planning, information sharing and assessment, facilitated connections for services, crisis prevention and support, and advocacy with school systems and service providers.  One-on-one support is complemented by workshops, support groups and social activities, fostering social connections among families.  Activities are for caregivers and children of all ages.

These services enrich core services CHSofNJ provides as a partner in the New Jersey Kinship Navigator Program:

  • Community outreach
  • Linkages and referral to resources
  • Assistance with Kinship Wraparound financial assistance application, including home visit with safety check and help assembling needed documents
  • Support for pursuing Kinship Legal Guardianship of kin children
  • Annual Kinship Picnic, Kinship Brunch and Kinship Winter Holiday Party

Leonard Feldman, Ph.D., evaluated the Kinship Cares program model using an experimental design from 2009 through 2012, with results published in the peer-reviewed journal Child Welfare (volume 95, No. 4) and listed on The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.  Kinship Cares was selected for review as part of the Federal Title IV-E Prevention Clearinghouse. The Kinship Cares Enhanced Navigator Program Research and Materials Summary below shows how the program aligns with Initial Practice Criteria for clearinghouse. Please see our evaluation, program manual and supportive documents below.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about Kinship Cares and our other effective and evaluated kinship services. CHSofNJ is developing a fee-based technical support packages to help adapt Kinship Cares for different communities’ specific needs, including opportunities to participate in virtual or on-site coaching, consultation and training to help your agency.  Contact Dolores A. Bryant, MSW, LCSW, CHSofNJ Vice President for Trauma Informed Child Welfare and Kinship Services.

Additional technical assistance materials such as a detailed Kinship Cares evaluation report; a comprehensive Kinship Cares program manual; and various implementation tools are available upon request. Please contact Tera Kligerman 800.396.4518 or for further information.

Kinship Wraparound Services

Kinship caregivers, adults who are raising children who are not their own biological children, may qualify for wraparound services, which provide financial assistance to offset the costs of raising these children by providing expenses such as clothes, linens, hygiene, school supplies, computer supplies furniture, clothing, special activities, camp, and some emergency monies. To qualify for these services, kinship caregivers must prove residential custody or legal guardianship of the children and that the children live with them without their biological parent(s).

Financial eligibility depends on the size and income of the family unit. Caregivers must show proof of relationship, income, and residency of the child ; families cannot be active with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. The caregivers can apply annual until the child turns 18 years of age. Kinship Navigator also provides Information and Referral service at any time to kin caregivers. To register, call the Kinship Navigator toll free at 1 (800) 396-4518.

Kinship Legal Guardianship

Kin caregivers may petition the court to appoint them as Kinship Legal Guardian for a child living in their home when the child’s parents are unable to care for the child. A kinship legal guardian’s rights and responsibilities include making decisions about child care, medical treatment and education plans, applying for services for the child, and ensuring the child’s safety and well-being. Parental rights are not terminated when Kinship Legal Guardianship is granted.

Some families may be eligible also for a Kinship Legal Guardian Subsidy up to $250 per month per child.

 CHSofNJ offers assistance in applying for Kinship Legal Guardianship for your relative children through our Kinship Navigator program. To qualify, the child must be living in the caregiver’s home without a biological parent for a minimum of one year. For information, please call our toll free number 1 (800) 396-4518.

GrandFamily Success Center

In partnership with The Nicholson Foundation, CHSofNJ opened the Mercer County GrandFamily Success Center in 2010.  CHSofNJ modeled its center on the proven KARE Family Center in Tucson, Arizona.  The Mercer County GrandFamily Success Center is a community based center for grandparents and other family members who are raising their relative children. Services are guided by kin caregivers and include monthly workshops, heath and behavioral health education and social gatherings.  Staff understand the challenges of kin families and community resources available to them.  CHSofNJ operated the Mercer County GrandFamily Success Center from a dedicated location through 2015.  Today, Center activities are integrated into our Trenton Heritage North and Heritage South Family Success Centers.

To apply for services please call 1800-396-4518

Dolores Bryant, LCSW
Vice President Child Welfare, Clinical & Kinship Services

Tera Kligerman, Supervisor
Kinship Navigator Program

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Saturday and Evening Hours (as scheduled)

635 S. Clinton Ave.
Trenton NJ 08611

The Kinship Navigator Program is funded by the NJ Department of Children & Families. The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.