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September 2022Vol. 23, No. 7NTDC Focuses on Tools and Training for Kinship Families

Written by April Dinwoodie


Did you know that the most decorated gymnast and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom Honoree, Simone Biles, is also part of a kinship adoption family? Simone and her sister were adopted by her grandparents when she was a child. For Simone, her sister, and grandparents, this is just how her family is. Simone’s family is not alone; there are countless families that are experiencing adoption in this way.

Recognizing that kinship families have a unique kind of closeness and may also experience additional challenges, the National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (NTDC) created training and tools that specifically address the unique aspects of being a kinship caregiver.

Building Resilience for Kinship Caregivers


This theme helps participants understand the importance of self-care and practical ideas for how to do it. Participants will understand signs of stress and burnout and recognize the importance of maintaining their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This theme describes parental resilience, why resilience is important, and covers how caring for children who have experienced trauma, separation, or loss can impact a caregiver’s own well-being. This theme also covers the behaviors that foster a protective environment for parents and children.


Kinship Parenting


This theme acknowledges the complexities associated with caring for children who are related, including divided loyalties, redefined roles and relationships, setting boundaries with parents and other relatives, and the range of emotions including anger, resentment, guilt, and/or embarrassment that caregivers can feel. Strategies for how to manage family dynamics and conflicts, identify triggers, and effectively manage stress are shared.


With the pilot period complete and evaluation of NTDC winding down, the curriculum is now available to the public at no cost. This state-of-the-art resource is based on research and input from experts, families who have experience with fostering or adopting children, and adults with lived experience in the child welfare system. It provides potential foster, kinship, and adoptive parents with the information and tools needed to parent children who have experienced trauma, separation, or loss.  

In this short video, hear directly from parents and professionals about how this free resource is educating and empowering them with trauma-informed, culturally relevant, and flexible training and tools. Click here to view. And click here to learn how to access the curriculum materials.

Contact Sue Cohick for more information at