On September 28, 2023, it was announced by the White House that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation that will allow states to simplify the licensing process for kinship caregivers to become foster care providers and require that states provide these kinship caregivers with the same financial support that any other foster family would receive.

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) supports HHS and the Children’s Bureau’s efforts to promote and strengthen kinship (relative) caregivers as an important part of out of home care/the child welfare system and summitted comments in agreement with the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking earlier this summer.

CWLA has long supported and promoted kinship care as an important permanency option for children and families, as is evidenced in our rich history of research, practice standards, and advocacy for policies that support relative caregivers. The use of kinship care has grown dramatically since the 1990s. Many of the current challenges child welfare agencies are facing across the country, including the lack of appropriate placements, could be better addressed through a greater use of kinship care.

CWLA applauds HHS’s final rule, which will remove barriers for children to be cared for by their relatives and kin and will decrease burdens on the child welfare workforce and agencies. CWLA is grateful for the support and attention to this matter and stands ready to assist the Administration in promotion and implementation of the new rules now that they have been adopted.

Learn more:

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Support Children and Families in Foster Care

HHS Announces Historic Child Welfare Package to Expand Support and Equity in Child Welfare System