Montana Kinship Navigator Program
Today, in Montana, there are more than 13,000 children under 18 living with and being cared for by grandparents, and more than 2500 living with and being cared for by other relative kin.
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) serves Kinship and Relative Caregivers for the entire state of Montana. We are a central support, resource, and referral navigator program supporting Montana's rural areas, all of Montana's 8 Native American Tribes, and Montana's urban cities. 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.