View Upcoming Trainings

CWLA is delighted that you are visiting the webpage featuring our Kinship Care: Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice. Here is valuable information about:

  • Background
  • Curricula and Training Materials
  • Training and Consulting Services


Every day hundreds of thousands of grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings, and non-related extended family members step in to keep children safe and nurtured when their parents cannot. CWLA defines kinship care as the full-time protecting and nurturing of children by grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, older siblings, non-related extended family members, and anyone to whom children and parents ascribe a family relationship, or who ‘go for kin’.  Within this definition there are two populations of kinship families: (a) informal, where children live with grandparents or other relatives and are not in child protective service custody; and (b) formal, where children are placed in the care of a relative or non-related extended family member under the auspices of a public child welfare agency.  Whether informally arranged among family members or formally supported by the child welfare system, it is essential to affirm and support the considerable contributions of kinship caregivers.

A “model of practice” is essential. All staff must have the same vision and mission, share the same values, use strengths-based language, implement evidence-based/informed practice principles and strategies, and achieve outcomes in the best interests of children and families. Through research and field tests, CWLA has developed and is pleased to offer the “Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice” that agencies can implement and adapt.

Curricula and Training Materials

To help agencies and organizations honor and support kinship families, CWLA has developed this evidence-based “model of practice” which  includes two significant resources:

1) Collaborating with Kinship Caregivers: A Competency-based, Research to Practice Training Program for Child Welfare Workers and Their Supervisors. This 12-hour curriculum (including a trainer’s guide and collaborating handouts for participants) identifies nine issues of concern for kinship caregivers, five competencies necessary for child welfare staff to work collaboratively with kinship caregivers across four phases of service delivery to achieve safety, well-being, and permanency for children in their care.

2) Traditions of Caring and Collaborating: Kinship Family Information, Support Groups, and Assessment. This 27-hour program brings kinship caregivers together to learn skills and share experiences. It also helps kin and agency staff assess the willingness, ability, and resources of kinship caregivers to protect and nurture children, meet developmental needs and address delays, support relationships with birth parents and other family members, connect to relationships intended to last a lifetime, and work collaboratively.

The Resources & Information section below provides links to additional information on the Kinship Care: Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice resources and training and consultation.

For assistance with the Kinship Care: Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice, please contact Donna D. Petras, PhD, MSW, Director, Models of Practice and Training.

Participants and trainers at the Kinship Care Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice Training held in Phoenix, AZ in February 2019.


Value prop about becoming a member

Become a Member