Kinship Caregiver Resources

Non-Needy Child-Only TANF

The main source of financial support for kinship caregivers who are not licensed is non-needy, child-only TANF. This type of TANF is not based on income, and kinship caregivers are usually eligible. Read more about the program on the DSHS website.

You can apply for TANF in person at a Community Services Office or online.

Our partners at the Department of Social and Health Services Aging and Long Term Supports Administration developed three videos that walk kinship caregivers through how to complete an online or paper TANF application. Learn more by reviewing the Caregiver Supports Resource Level Determination guide.

Monthly Foster Care Maintenance Payments

Monthly foster care maintenance payments are available to relatives and close family friends who get licensed. The foster care payments are also much more for caregivers caring for more than one child and provide the greatest amount of ongoing financial assistance.

Steps to Receive Payments

Register and set up direct deposit with the Social Service Payment System (SSPS) to receive payments and reimbursements including monthly foster care maintenance payments. Follow these instructions and visit the SSPS webpage for more information.

  1. Complete the direct deposit form and W-9 forms using the directions on the first page of each form:
  2. Register for the Provider Portal or review instructions for calling in your invoice.
    • Option 1:  Register and use the SSPS Portal Registration instructions to register with SSPS.
      • We encourage you to use the provider portal because you can:
        • Review the information you provided and make changes
        • Easily update an address, phone number, or email
        • Easily email SSPS questions
        • View real-time invoicing
        • See all remittances and invoices, tax documents        
    • Option 2:  Review instructions on how to use the “Invoice Express” phone system
Furniture, Clothing, and Other Child-Related Items
  • Clothing vouchers are available when a young person has exceptional clothing needs not met through local community resources or the standard clothing allowance in the foster care monthly maintenance payment. Talk with your caseworker if you believe the young person in your care needs a clothing voucher. 
  • Find information about foster and kinship clothing banks and resources by:

Alliance CaRES

CaRES helps kinship caregivers understand the licensing process and provides ongoing support through mentorship, trainings, support groups, and events. They can help connect you to your local Kinship Navigator, too. Connect with CaRES for help understanding the complex child welfare and court system, managing challenging behaviors, and partnering with others to support children and youth experiencing foster care.

Kinship Navigator Program

The Kinship Navigator (KN) program is run by the Department of Social and Health Services Aging and Long-Term Support Administration. Navigators are knowledgeable about local resources for kinship caregivers. They can provide referrals and help kinship caregivers navigate different state agencies. Support groups are another feature of the KN program.

  • To find a kinship navigator near you, visit the DSHS kinship care website. There you can search for kinship navigators and kinship support programs.

Forms Caregivers Complete

Forms Caregivers Receive



Apple Health Core Connections (AHCC) 

Children and youth experiencing foster care are enrolled in Coordinated Care’s Apple Health Core Connections (AHCC) program for Medicaid coverage. Coordinated Care’s goal is to make health care easier.  Their healthcare coordinators work with caregivers and caseworkers to access primary care, behavioral health, vision, dental, specialists, durable medical equipment (DME), Home Health, and more.

For care management and other help, email, OR

Call the AHCC team at 1-844-354-9876 and dial 2 for help with the following:

  • A member ID number
  • Finding a provider/specialist
  • Issues with a pharmacy
  • Care management requests
  • Benefit information
  • Help with the website
  • 24/7 Nurse Advice Line

Wellness Resource Wednesdays

Join CaRES, Coordinated Care, and Harborview Medical Center staff every third Wednesday for the month from 6:30-8 p.m. for Wellness Resource Wednesdays. Learn more by visiting the CaRES website, and scroll down the page until you see “Drop-in Discussions.”

Medically Complex Children

Connect with a CaRES Medically Complex Children Specialist by emailing

Child care is available to kinship caregivers if there is not a caregiver at home due to employment or continuing education. Talk with your child’s caseworker to access child care.

To find a child care near you, contact Child Care Aware of Washington for a list of licensed providers that match your needs, which may include locations, hours, rates, or types of care. You can visit the Child Care Aware of Washington website at or call 1-800-446-1114.