Oregon Kinship Navigator is a statewide resource and referral service for grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative caregivers.

Whether you need legal help, access to services, or to find support for you and your family, OKN was created to help you find answers!

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Newly caring for your grandchild or relative?

Important things to do first:

Ensure the child’s medical insurance needs are met by doing one of the following:

  • If the child’s parent has medical insurance, get the insurance information from him or her.

  • Add the child to your private insurance policy.

  • Use your personal funds to acquire medical care for your relative child.

  • If your relative child is in state custody, the child’s caseworker will apply for Oregon Health Plan coverage for the child.

  • Note: If the child is experiencing health problems and has no insurance, you may need to use personal funds until the child has insurance.

Ensure the child’s medical care needs are met through the following resources:

  • Schedule comprehensive medical, dental and mental health assessments.

  • Ask about medical care, vitamins and nutrition, as well as dental and eye care.

  • Talk to the child’s health care provider about how the child is doing and if there are specific concerns, list them and talk with the health care provider about them.

  • Make a list of the care provider’s suggestions for immediate and ongoing medical care.

  • Ask for referrals, and explain your source of payment. Ensure the child’s other needs are met.

  • Apply for financial assistance through the Department of Human Services (DHS) Self-Sufficiency offices.

  • Enroll the child in a local school, and make an appointment to meet with the child’s teacher or school counselor.

  • If you are age 55 or over, contact the Family Caregiver Support Program through Aging and Disability Resource Connection (1-855-ORE-673-2372) or your local Area Agency on Aging.

Child’s checklist:

Start a file for the child. The sooner you start, the easier it is. The file might contain:

  • Birth certificate or proof of citizenship

  • Photos

  • School records

  • Immunization records (ask the child’s parent, school or physician)

  • Social Security card or verification of the child’s Social Security number

  • Copy of the medical card or child’s insurance coverage

  • Any legal documents relating to the child, including any documents giving you authority to have the child in your care

  • Names and phone numbers of the child’s caseworkers, attorney, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), health care provider, therapist or anyone who has been or is important to the child’s safety and care (keep this information up-to-date)

  • Information about how to contact the child’s parents — where they are, phone numbers and addresses, names and numbers of friends and other family members. If they have been involved with a social service agency, contact agency staff to inform them that you have the child.