Family Ties

About This Program

Target Population: Caregiver of a relative's child

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 19

Program Overview

Family Ties provides case management and resource and referral to ensure permanence for children being raised by relative caregivers. Assessment and case planning guide services for the caregiver and family are provided through:

  • Support groups
  • Educational classes
  • Referral to community resources with followup, including therapy
  • Assistance with legal guardianship
  • Respite
  • Recreation events
  • Networking with other caregivers
  • Emergency assistance
  • Transportation;
  • Any other identified need.

Family Ties is designed to be used with families that are not connected to the child welfare system, but are informal placements rather than placements in formal foster care. Therefore, the majority of the caregivers take care of children who are not dependents of the court. Referrals for dependency would only occur when there is a safety issue to be addressed.

Program Goals

The goals of Family Ties are:

  • Assess the needs of each relative caregiving family
  • Create a plan for each family to address their needs and identify anything that might prevent them from caring for their kin children
  • Address the clinical dynamics of the relative caregiving family
  • Improve parenting skills to enable relatives to continue to parent children in their care
  • Achieve permanency through legal guardianship or adoption, or healthy return to birth parent when possible
  • Provide networking opportunities for caregivers and children to avoid isolation and establish support

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Family Ties.

Essential Components

The essential components of Family Ties include:

  • Case managers assess the family needs.
  • Case managers create a plan to address the family needs.
  • Caregivers are referred for services and case managers follow up to be sure that caregivers can get to those services.
  • Transportation to appointments is provided when necessary.
  • 18 support groups are held monthly in English and Spanish, and caregivers are encouraged to attend; child care is provided and light meals.
  • Several recreation events are provided every month, some for children to provide respite for caregivers, and some for the whole family. Events include but are not limited to:
    • Nature hikes
    • Trips to the aquarium and boardwalk
    • Amusement parks
    • Dance camp
    • Cultural events
    • Horseback riding camp
    • Arts and crafts days
    • Holiday parties
  • A newsletter is sent to all active cases and all closed inactive cases to keep caregivers connected to the Family Ties network, and invite them to participate in activities.
  • Assistance with obtaining legal guardianship is provided by Permanency Specialists who help with paperwork, prepare the family to go to court and communicate with the investigator along with the caregiver.
  • Case managers assess for need for mental health services and make referrals to the appropriate resources.
  • Educational classes are offered through Title IV-E for relative caregivers on various topics including:
    • Skills for parenting children who have experienced trauma and loss
    • Nutrition
    • Self-care
    • Attachment
    • Trauma
    • Cooking for a large family on a budget

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Family Ties directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Caregivers of a relative's child with problem behaviors and mental health issues impacting family functioning and caregiver loyalty confusion; unique family dynamics as a result of relative caregiving; strained relationships with birth parents of the child; poverty and needed resources; abrupt change in life style with the addition of children, and the stress involved, especially for grandparents; housing and other needs such as furniture, clothing, food; isolation and loss of normal same age companionship of friends
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: As much as possible, extended family and friends and community supports should be engaged to provide a network of support for the caregiver and the children; Family Finding may be utilized with the permission of the caregiver to access additional supports. These additional relatives can participate in case management functions support groups, educational classes, or recreation activities along with the caregiver and children.

Recommended Intensity:

It depends on the family needs. Initial assessment and plan usually takes about 1½-2 hours. Other contacts vary as needed.

Recommended Duration:

There is no prescribed amount of time. Cases are kept open as long as needs are unmet. When needs are met, the active case is closed but the family is sent a newsletter monthly inviting them to participate in support groups and recreation activities and education. Cases can be opened any time when needs emerge.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Community Daily Living Setting
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


This program does not include a homework component.


Family Ties has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Funding; case managers; recreation specialists; child care workers; Quality Assurance staff; Program Assistant to field inquiries, intake, and questions; office space and meeting space; vans for transportation to recreation events; creativity and a sense of humor

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Minimum requirements for Program Director would be a Bachelor's or Master's level degree depending on experience. Case Managers should have a Bachelor's degree or be a relative caregiver themselves with requisite skills.

Manual Information

There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Informal consultation is available upon request.

Number of days/hours:

Informal consultation is available upon request.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Family Ties.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Family Ties.

Contact Information

Carol Bishop, LMFT
Agency/Affiliation: Seneca Family of Agencies/Kinship Center
Phone: (831) 455-4702

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2017