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A New Software RFP And Kin-First Firewall Workshop!

We at the Redlich Horwitz Foundation are wishing you and your staff a safe and healthful autumn. As the weather grows colder, we continue to develop new resources to support strong, family-centered practice and system improvement.

This month, we are hosting a kin-first firewall workshop led by American Bar Association experts to help jurisdictions implement this critical policy in coordination with other Family First readiness efforts. We have also released a request for proposals to provide grants to counties to purchase software to assist with virtual casework practice.


Grant Funding Available: Tech Tools for Child Welfare Virtual Casework

RHF is pleased to announce a new guide and RFP entitled, “Tech Tools for Child Welfare Virtual Casework.” Counties are invited to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to be used to purchase software to ease the challenges faced by a virtual workforce. Child welfare staff are faced with numerous challenges due to Covid-19 restrictions, as critical casework processes are adapted to this new virtual environment. The software solutions identified herein are easy to use, low-cost and can save time for staff and families.

But hurry! The deadline to submit the short application is December 14, 2020.

Please find the full report and RFP guidelines here:


Sign Up to Join the Kin-First Firewall Workshop

Is your jurisdiction developing a kin-first firewall policy? Could you use support and tips?

Redlich Horwitz Foundation is pleased to announce a new virtual workshop, “Developing a Kin-First Firewall Policy,” which will be held on Monday, December 7th from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST. This workshop is designed to assist LDSS staff in developing or revising their local kinship policies to be in alignment with the new OCFS Kin-First Firewall policy (20-OCFS-ADM-18).

Join ABA Center on Children and the Law's Heidi Redlich Epstein, director of kinship policy and state projects, and staff attorney Emily Peeler for a hands-on workshop that will outline the requirements of the new kinship firewall policy and provide attendees with an opportunity to discuss ideas for best practices when developing their own local policy. As required by the ADM, counties must submit their updated kinship policy to their regional OCFS offices in January 2021.


Access Updated Resources to Support Full Disclosure of Kinship Options

RHF is pleased to release updated kin-first placement resources that jurisdictions can adapt to their local context. These American Bar Association-developed and OCFS-reviewed templates help localities compare various guardianship and custody options available to kinship resources.

ABA Kin Options Chart: KinGAP vs. Adoption

This document, created by the American Bar Association, presents a comparison of kinship guardianship (KinGAP) vs. adoption with regards to the legal, familial, educational and other benefits and responsibilities.

Download here:

• ABA Kin Options Chart: Custody vs. Foster Care

This document, created by the American Bar Association, presents a comparison of kin custody vs. kinship foster care with regards to the legal, familial, educational and other benefits and responsibilities.

• Financial Support for Kin Caregivers Comparison Chart

This document, created by the American Bar Association, presents the various financial supports that are available to kin caregivers in the State of New York, based on their guardianship arrangement.

• Kinship Options: Benefits, Rights and Responsibilities Template

This customizable template presents information on benefits, rights and responsibilities of kin caregivers in Article 10, Article 6 and kinship foster care arrangements.


Thank you for reading! If you have any suggestions for how to make this newsletter more responsive to your needs, please email me, Jessie Rothkuo, directly at And please visit to learn more about our ongoing support of Family First implementation statewide, which includes our Tools & Resources page.


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