Kinship Care

Family Connection Network

Kinship/relative care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives or by members of their tribes or clans. It can include godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child. With that, it could even be a friend or acquaintance of the family or the child. Kinship/relative care is intended to be inclusive and respectful of cultural values and “ties of affection”.

Our vision is for every kinship family and child to maintain a strong sense of identity and pride in culture, heritage, and family connection. The Villages Family Connection Network strives to empower kinship families, not actively involved with the Department of Child Services, to achieve a stable, positive family experience that will best allow children to reach their full potential.

Since its inception in 2002, The Villages Family Connection Network has collaborated with several community partners in Marion County to provide supportive services to kinship families.
Founded in part by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, The Villages Family Connection Network has also been supported by the generosity and vested confidence of The Casey Family Foundation, the J. E. Fehsenfeld Family Foundation, and other donors. The Villages Family Connection Network and its collaborative partners have been successful at meeting the needs of kinship families in Marion County. The collaboration has led to the creation of an array of services to support informal and formal kinship families.

The result is a solid foundation providing essential resources kinship families need to sustain healthy, nurturing, and stimulating environments in which even the most vulnerable children can thrive.

Services include:

  • Support groups
  • Case Management
  • Respite activities
  • Youth scholarships
  • Community links to service providers
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Local and national training
  • Annual kinship retreat


Sign up for one of our upcoming Information Sessions to learn more.