two young children and their older caregivers prepare dinner

Kinship Care Toolkit

A toolkit to support children impacted by parental addiction, overdose or loss.


Being on a recovery journey sometimes means spending time away from home. Kinship care is when family members or close friends step in to care for a child dealing with addiction in the home. A parent's sudden absence can be due to residential care, hospitalization, incarceration, overdose/death. Kinship care keeps children safe and connected to family and community through difficult life situations.

We designed this toolkit to support children and their caregivers, but the tools can be used by anyone looking to initiate difficult conversations surrounding loss, separation or abandonment.

The Kinship Care toolkit includes:

  • Information about grief
  • Spotting "red-flag" behavior in youth and young adults
  • Having age-appropriate discussions
  • Interactive exercises for children to express their feelings, promote positive thinking and self-image.

Information for Kinship Caregivers

Helpful tips and guides to support kinship caregivers


    Red Flags

    How to recognize the ways children grieve to make sure they’re dealing with emotions in a healthy way.




    How to Talk About Substance Use at Every Age

    It's important to talk at every age about the risks of underage drug and alcohol use. Children who come from homes in which parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to start using drugs earlier in their lives and become addicted more quickly than peers from homes without substance abuse.




    Connecting Everyday

    Children and teens who feel connected to their family experience better mental health and are less likely to have experiences with risky or violent behaviors as they get older



Exercises for Children in Kinship Care

Positive thinking and gratitude exercises for kids and teens in kinship care.