There are 82,820 children in Utah who are being raised by a relative. Although the number one reason for this fact is drug use by the child's parent(s), there are also other issues such as poverty, death of the parent, and mental illness.

These children come to their relative's home with a myriad of issues and caregivers face many obstacles in meeting their needs. Many of these children have been neglected and abused in the homes of their parents. Relative caregivers face barriers such as:

  • Grandfamilies-Logo-Button 4Access to affordable services for guardianship, custody, and adoption
  • Access to financial resources to meet the needs of children they are caring for
  • Medical insurance or Medicaid for the child
  • Access to enrollment in school for the child
  • Lack of respite services
  • Lack of affordable child care
  • Lack of emotional support

Relatives as parents need education regarding their new role in the following areas:

  • Safety and emotional support
  • Caring for abused/neglected children
  • How to set boundaries with the child's parent
  • Drug/alcohol education

The children need:

  • Safety and emotional support
  • Stability
  • Mental health treatment
  • Appropriate parenting
  • Drug and alcohol prevention skills


GRANDFAMILIES is a support, advocacy, educational and crisis intervention program of the Children's Service Society. The program was created in 2002 to meet the growing needs of individuals and/or families that are caring for a relative's child. Our focus is to provide information and support to these families so that the needs of safety and permanency for the children in these families can be met.

Our services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Adult educational support groups
  • Children's support groups
  • Links to community resources
  • Drug and alcohol prevention services for children

We provide these services through Grandfamilies First Classes, Children's groups, and Friend 2 Friend meetings (please go to the tab "Our Program" for a full description). To reduce the stress of coming to a class, we provide a light supper with each group. We do not charge for our services but donations are gladly accepted.

Major funding for Children's Service Society is provided by the following community-minded organizations and agencies. Thank you.

American Express

Castle Foundation

Child Care Aware of Utah

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation

Utah Department of Workforce Services – Office of Child Care

eBay Foundation

Edwards Lifesciences Fund

Energy Solutions

Frances W. Burton Foundation

The George & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

Henry W. and Leslie M. Eskuche Foundation

Herbert I. and Elsa B. Michael Foundation

In-N-Out Burger Foundation

John and Dora Lang Foundation

Kennecott Utah Copper Charitable Foundation

Larry H. Miller Charities

Lawrence T. Dee & Janet T. Dee Foundation

Marriner S. Eccles Foundation

R. Harold Burton Foundation

Ruth Eleanor & John Ernest Bamberger Memorial Foundation

Salt Lake County Substance Abuse Prevention Services

Sorenson Legacy Foundation

State of Utah

Sterling & Shelli Gardner Foundation

Thatcher Company

United Way of Salt Lake

Utah Division of Child & Family Services

Utah Health Department, Office of Home Visiting

Utah Masonic Foundation