Generations United conducted a webinar on February 9, 2021, in collaboration with the Children’s Defense Fund and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. This webinar discussed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and its implications for “grandfamilies.” Divisions of the Appropriations Act outline provisions to help relative caregivers and allow the child welfare system to support these families through the pandemic. In addition, the Appropriations Act contains expansions in programs that would aid these families in areas such as childcare, food assistance, housing, domestic violence services, mental health services, and special supports for children who have experienced trauma.
The webinar focused mainly on the additional funding to address the pandemic including:
- $20 million towards kinship navigator programs, requiring a minimum grant award for these programs and describes that these funds are made available to assist those with operating kinship navigator programs to make sure they meet evidence-based requirements.
- $5 million to expand the supply of intergenerational dwelling units for older caregivers raising children.
- The Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act, which provides relief to relatives raising children, those in or aging out of foster care, vulnerable children at risk of entering foster care in response to the pandemic.
- The Simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that makes several changes to the FAFSA form to help streamline the process for youth in foster care.
- The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, which makes it easier for youth aging out of the foster care system to access housing assistance.
Generations United developed a summary of the legislation with a main focus for relative caregivers that can be accessed here.