Montana Kinship Navigator Program
Today, in Montana, more than 7,400 grandparents are raising their grandchildren without parental involvement.
These children often come to them because of family crisis and the relative parents are often ill-equipped to deal with the emotional, physical, financial and social hardships of raising children “a second time around”.
There are numerous reasons for the increase in this relative parent-led family form and often the reasons are intertwined: parental substance abuse, physical or mental health problems, financial difficulties, teen pregnancy, incarceration, death and deployment. The issue cuts across all socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups.
The Montana Kinship Navigator Program (previously called the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Project) is the only one of its kind in the state. The program was founded in 2002 to offer these caregivers support, education and access to resources so they can live happier, healthier lives and can, in turn, raise children who know emotional and physical safety, excel in school and social situations and are prepared to take on the challenges of their new life.