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Relatives as Caregivers Resource Guide for Erie County

Topics & Common Questions


"What would it take for you to be successful?"

An offering of the
Erie County Department of Senior Services
& its many Community Partners—
People Who Can Help


 This guide is about linking people with one another and with resources so they can help our community’s children and those who take care of them. Many caring for the children in our community are relatives, often grandparents who have assumed the care of their grandchildren. The reasons vary, but include issues related to the children’s parents: divorce, substance abuse, child abuse, neglect or abandonment, incarceration, death, physical and mental health problems, and teenage pregnancy. Finding information and dealing with community agencies can be challenging. We look forward to adding you to our growing group of people who are ready to help by providing information, services and support. This Guide is organized around common questions caregivers may have and community resources available to answer those questions.

The New York State Kinship Navigator is an information, referral and advocacy program for kinship caregivers in New York State. A kinship caregiver is an individual that is caring for a child that is not biologically their own. In New York State, there are an estimated 179,000 caregivers, 131,000 of which are grandparents raising grandchildren. The Navigator provides information on financial assistance, legal information and referrals, and other types of issues that caregivers face when raising children in order to provide stability and permanency in the home.