On the Legislative Front
The Kinship Caregiver Support Act, reintroduced in both houses of Congress last year, seeks to strengthen the federal role in supporting children living with grandparents, particularly those in foster care. Although the bill picked up additional sponsors last fall, neither the House nor the Senate had moved on the legislation at press time. The bill would support:
- subsidized guardianship, allowing states to use Title IV-E to support relatives who assume guardianship of children in foster care;
- grandparent notification, requiring written notice to grandparents when children enter custody;
- kinship navigator programs, providing funding for central sources of information for grandparents and other relatives;
- licensing requirements, allowing states to have separate licensing standards for kin and nonkin foster parents as long as both standards protect children and include criminal record checks.
- Chafee eligibility, expanding eligibility for financial assistance for higher education to youth aging out of foster care. New language would make foster youth who exit the system into legal guardianship eligible recipients.
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