Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grandparents and Other Relatives Take a Stand at Grand Rally

More than 1000 grandfamilies put aside their daily tasks to make the trip to our nation's Capitol May 7. That may not mean much to many in this big city who can navigate the subways and buses without hesitation or those who can afford their own drivers to do the navigation. But to families coming from rural America and even bigger towns, getting around Washington D.C. can be an adventure. Yet many with children in tow reached out to be part of the demonstration for awareness of kinship care needs. Six million children in this country depend on our nation's leaders taking the needs of kinship families seriously.
The goal was to encourage legislators to get on board for The Kinship Caregiver Support Act (S. 661 and H.R. 2188). This act would help relatives in many ways:
  • those with children in foster care to be able to care for them permanently. Federal funds would also help relative guardians receive similar assistance,
  • require states to notify relatives when children have been removed from the parents,
  • provide for flexible licensing standards for relative foster care,
  • establish The Kinship Navigator Program in each state to help link relative caregivers to resources and services for children,
  • assist relative care for older youth who exit foster care to receive education and training vouchers for college and other independent living services.
Considering the millions of dollars kinship care providers save states in residential care of children, these small costs in the Kinship Caregiver Support Act are a big step forward for millions of children and their relative caregivers.
There are currently 29 sponsors in the Senate and 59 in the House of Representatives. To find out more about S.661 and H.R. 2188 and where your representatives stand contact Generations United or your legislative representative.
There will be many blogs coming up on the big trip for me including a review of an exceptional kinship program in central Florida called Kids Central Inc. Keep checking the blog.


J. A. Barnes said...

I have been looking for a blog about this topic. Not finding one, I started my own at

Thank you for being a place where kinship caregivers like me can come to find out what is going on in the wider world (beyond diapers and sippy cups), and thanks for advocating for our children.

Tita said...

Thanks so much for your kind words. Best wishes on your kinship care and your blog.