Monday, September 10, 2007

The Oregonian gives national attention to Kinship Caregiver legislation

On August 17, 2007, the Oregonian published an editorial on the Kinship Caregiver Support Act (S.661/HR.2118). NACAC is delighted to see national attention being paid to this important issue. As the Oregonian points out:

“The Kinship Caregiver Support Act would benefit millions of children being raised by their grandparents or other relatives because their parents are unable to care for them. The act would also help an additional 20,000 children leave foster care to join safe, permanent, loving families of relatives who would be too poor to provide this care without government assistance.

For more than a decade, child welfare agencies have become increasingly reliant on relatives as the first and best option when foster care is needed for a child who has been neglected or abused. To address this powerful trend, the new legislation would create a Kinship Navigator Program that helps such caregivers take full advantage of the child welfare system and other support services, and it would give states the option to use federal funds for subsidized guardianship payments to qualifying low-income families.”

JJ's story posted above illustrates the need for additional services and funding for kinship caregivers. As JJ so eloquently states, "Grandparents shouldn’t have to trade the love they have for their grandchildren for financial ruin and despair."

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