montana kinship navigator program

Today, in Montana, there are more than 16,000 children under 18 living with and being cared for by relative caregivers. Over 13,000 children live with their grandparents, and more than 2600 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 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.


Would you like to receive a newsletter or request a past newsletter?  Contact the Montana Kinship Navigator program via email or call 406-994-3395


View the Project Initiatives        January 2020 Progress Report    Grandfamilies Report for 2019  Fact Sheet

New Caregiver Packet



Contact the 
Montana Kinship Navigator Program at:
Heidi Lester
Program Manager
(406) 994-3395
Toll-free (833) 445-3395

102 Taylor Hall
PO Box 173580
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: (406) 994-3395
Toll-free (833) 445-3395
Fax: (406) 994-5417 


Find a Contact in Montana for the Kinship Navigator Program in your area


To learn more, we encourage you to get in touch, sign-up to receive our newsletter, or like our Facebook page.

The Montana Kinship Navigator Program focuses on grandparent and relative parent well-being, providing research-based resources and support to manage the physical and emotional stress of kinship caregiving.