Kinship Care Families Get Needed Supports and Services Through New Law
Jul 17, 2009
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, signed into law in October of 2008, provides kinship care families with a range of supports and services. The majority of the provisions benefit children and youth in kinship foster care or who have left foster care to live with relative guardians. The Family Connection Grants, however, include funding for Kinship Navigators which could benefit the broader community of kinship care families, including those families that have no formal involvement with the child welfare system.
Of particular relevance to kinship care families, the new law:
- Requires that all grandparents and other adult relatives receive notice when a child is about to enter foster care, giving relatives an opportunity to get involved in a child's care early on.
- Provides grants for Kinship Navigator programs through the Family Connection Grants. These programs help link kinship care families to a broad range of services and supports.
- Allows states to use federal funds to provide guardianship assistance payments to children who leave foster care to live permanently with relatives.
- Clarifies that children who leave foster care after age 16 for kinship guardianship are eligible for under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program for independent living services and makes them eligible for Education and Training Vouchers to help with costs of higher education or other vocational training.
- Clarifies that states may waive non-safety related licensing standards for relative foster homes on a case-by-case basis.
Other provisions will impact all children and youth involved with the child welfare system, including those in kinship foster care and subsidized guardianship. For detailed information on how the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act impacts children and youth in kinship care, please see New Help for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: Questions and Answers About the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.