Kinship Care Curriculum

What is SARKS?

SARKS (Standards for Assessing and Recognizing Kinship Strengths) is a comprehensive kinship foster care curriculum directed toward training and licensing kinship caregivers. It was developed by A Second Chance, Inc., the only agency in the country that exclusively delivers services to the entire kinship triad (child, caregiver and birth parents).

How is SARKS distinguished from other kinship care curriculum?

SARKS is not an adaptation of or supplement to traditional foster parent trainings. It is the response to the need for a specialized kinship care curriculum that does not rely on the axioms of traditional foster care for its philosophy and relevancy. The curriculum is founded on academic research and data relevant to kinship care. The uniqueness of the curriculum, however, lies in the practical experience that A Second Chance, Inc. has gathered over 22 years while working alongside kinship caregivers, caseworkers and trainers.

Is the SARKS curriculum adaptable to any state?

SARKS is compatible with the requirements of other states and highly adaptable to any region or jurisdiction in the nation. It is fully compliant with federal regulations under Title IV-E.

Curriculum themes:

Strengths and benefits of the kinship care practice
Roles and commitments of kinship care families
The impact of loss, grief and trauma on children and families
Stages of child/adolescent development
Understanding the child welfare system

Scope and sequence:

Session 1: Orientation: Building the foundation and strengthening relationships
Session 2: Roles and self-care
Session 3: Loss, grief and trauma in the kinship care family
Session 4: Trauma and attachment: Infants and toddlers
Session 5: Trauma and attachment: Middle childhood; the school-aged child
Session 6: Trauma and attachment: Adolescents and young adults
Session 7: Managing feelings and behaviors
Session 8: Permanency in kinship care
Session 9: Special needs and advocacy


Developing positive coping skills
Empathizing with children’s feelings
Managing challenging behaviors
Advocating for children
Obtaining resources
Permanency planning
Supporting transition