Archive | March 2007

Nichelle Mitchem Shares Information on Kinship Navigator Program (S661)

Senator Hillary Clinton introduced Kinship Care Support Act in February of 2007 (S661). The Kinship Caregiver Support Act,  ”Authorizes the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services to make grants for kinship navigator programs to state agencies, metropolitan agencies, or tribal organizations with experience in addressing needs of kinship caregivers or children and connecting them with services and assistance.

It amends part E (Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to authorize all states to opt to enter agreements to provide kinship guardianship assistance payments on behalf of children to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed legal guardianship of children for whom they have cared as foster parents and have committed to care for on a permanent basis. Allows states to use part E funds to make such payments under specified conditions. Provides that adoptive parents of children with special needs remain eligible for adoption assistance, even if they receive kinship guardianship assistance. Authorizes the use of foster care independence program funds to provide independent living services and education and training
vouchers for children who exit foster care to kinship guardianship or adoption
after age 16. Authorizes kinship guardianship demonstration projects.

Additionally, it requires states to:  (1) notify all adult grandparents and other adult relatives (with exceptions due to family  or domestic violence) when a child is removed from custody of a parent or  parents; and  (2) explain the options the relative has to participate in the child’s care and placement. Allows state agencies to establish separate standards for foster family homes in which a foster parent is a relative of the foster child.”

Source: Kinship Care Support Act (S661).

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