Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) Grants

Brookdale Foundation Group

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Jun 12, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



About RAPP

In October 1991, the Foundation funded the University of California-Berkeley to survey the nature and extent of services for grandparent caregivers in the United States. In 1993, we provided support for the establishment of the AARP Grandparent Information Center, which provides resources and information on issues confronted by grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and the professionals who assist them.

The Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) was initiated in 1996. It is designed to encourage and promote the creation or expansion of services for grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the parents.

Currently RAPP provides extensive services, primarily to relative caregivers caring for children outside the foster care system. As part of our sponsorship of RAPP, we conduct our National Orientation and Training Conference to facilitate opportunities for training, networking and information exchange and provide technical assistance to our RAPP Network through our listservs, site bulletins, conference calls, web chats and our annual newsletter. 

Relatives as Parents Program RFP

The Brookdale Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) aims to develop or expand services for grandparents or other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting when the biological parents are unable to do so. Up to 15 programs will be selected through this Request for Proposal (RFP) process from within the United States. Each selected organization will receive a seed grant of $15,000 ($10,000 and $5,000 respectively), contingent on progress made during year one and potential for continuity in the future. On-going technical assistance will also be provided. 

Selected applicants will be required to attend, as a guest of the Foundation, an Orientation and Training Conference to be held in October in Teaneck, NJ. 

Goals of the Relatives as Parents Programs

  • supportive services to relative caregivers and the children they are raising, with emphasis on relative caregiving families that are not in the formal foster care system;
  • start new or expand current services in response to caregiver and family needs;
  • Services and assistance to relative caregivers and the children in their care must include regular ongoing support, educational or social groups and at least two of the following:
    • benefits and legal guidance
    • educational seminars
    • individual and/or family counseling
    • health care services
    • childcare
    • housing assistance
    • children’s services
    • group recreational activities
    • transportation assistance
    • services to special populations
    • services with local schools
    • other programmatic initiatives
    • mental health services
  • establish collaboration with community organizations and other service systems such as family services, child care, aging, education, legal, health care, mental health and extension services;
  • initiate programs that have assurance of continuity beyond the two-year grant period; and
  • create replicable models of cost-effective, quality services across the region 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • General guidelines
    • The sponsoring organization must have a 501(c)(3) or equivalent tax-exempt status
    • The proposal should reflect responsiveness to all of the goals listed above.
    • The sponsor must show linkages to other community agencies. Letters of support from collaborating agencies should be included in the appendix of the proposal and reflect the kinds of supportive services and activities they will contribute to this project.
    • The sponsor must assign a senior staff member who will have overall administrative and supervisory responsibility for the Program, and should also designate a person to serve as RAPP Coordinator to manage the day-to-day operations.
    • The proposal must include a clear statement of how direct services will be provided to meet the needs of relative caregiver families. It will not be sufficient to simply refer the grandparents/relatives elsewhere for assistance.
    • The seed grant must be matched 100%, either in-kind or in cash before the initiation of the program. The source of matching financial support may be the sponsor, other community agencies or public/private funds.
    • The sponsor is responsible for the appropriate management of the seed grant and must comply with the reporting requirements of the Foundation.
    • Evidence of the ability to continue the program beyond the seed grant period should be included in the project proposal. 
  • In addition to the General Guidelines, Local RAPP sponsors are subject to the following additional guidelines:
    • NEW SERVICES/PROGRAMS to caregivers and their families may be proposed by agencies that are not currently part of the Brookdale Relatives As Parents Program.
    • EXPANDED SERVICES may be proposed by agencies that are currently part of the Brookdale Relatives As Parents Program who wish to initiate additional services or replicate their programs in another area.
    • A Community Advisory Committee should be established to facilitate the program goals.
    • Grant recipients will be eligible to apply for renewed funding at the end of their twoyear grant period if they have demonstrated tangible results.
  • Sponsors proposing activities in a broad geographic area are subject to the following additional guidelines:
    • Sponsors will be responsible for serving a broad geographic area and support the development of a variety of local or regional group activities.
    • Sponsors must demonstrate that they have experience in developing and operating services for relative caregivers and their families.
    • A broad-based Regional Advisory Committee should be created to bring together representatives from various fields and communities to: facilitate program goals and serve as a focal point of information on programs and policies; stimulate the development of services to caregivers and their families across the region; and link local programs and interested agencies into a regional network to address the issues faced by relative caregivers and their families. 


  • Preference is given to programs that have the strong potential for continuity and expansion when this seed grant funding is completed.


  • Seed grant funds cannot be used:
    • for building funds, renovations or capital improvements;
    • to support existing services; or
    • for indirect costs or overhead