Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GRANDFAMILIES LEGISLATIVE VICTORY!!

News from Generations United, www.gu.org
September 22, 2008 the United States Senate unanimously passed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 sending the bill to the President for his signature. The bill is bi-partisan compromise between the House and Senate that includes many of the provisions of the Kinship Caregiver Support Act. The bill is a significant recognition of the contribution grandparents and other relatives make in raising the nation's children.

Thank you to everyone for all their hard work in making calls, writing letters, and visiting with their legislators to pass this bill through Congress.Your stories brought this issue to life for your Members of Congress and inspired them to act.

The bill will provide supports for grandfamilies by:
Authorizing subsidized guardianship to enable children in the care of grandparents and other relatives to exit foster care into permanency
Establishing Kinship navigator programs to help link relative caregivers both inside and outside of the formal child welfare system to a broad range of services and supports that will help them meet the needs of the children in their care
Requiring notice be given to adult relatives of a child if he or she is placed in foster care
Allowing states in a demonstration program the option to set separate licensing standards for relative foster parents and non-relative foster parents
The bill also supports permanent families by:
Extending direct Title IV-E funding to tribal governments
Reauthorizing the Adoption Incentives Program, a critical tool in helping children become adopted.
Allowing states to receive federal reimbursement for support provided to foster youth up to age 21
Requiring reasonable efforts to keep siblings together
The president still must sign the bill and there will be significant work to implement the bill fully, but it is nonetheless a historic day for grandfamilies.

To see GU`s press release on the Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2008, go to http://www.gu.org/Lette6291248.asp

To read Donna`s blog entry on the Act, go to http://generationsunited.blogspot.com/.

For more information on the Act, go to http://www.gu.org/Polic7231752.asp.
Good news indeed!
love,
Tita

3 comments:

grammyh said...

Will this be for relative care givers who are presently raising grandchildren and other relative children or will it be for only those who have relative children in foster care and when they get the children they get the help?

Where does it leave those who have already taken their relative children out of foster care and taken legal custody then became their guardians? Will it matter if the children were place in the home through ICPC, as our grandchildren were.

We were told by our local social service that we would not qualify for any of these benefits because the children came to live with us from another state, even though they were in foster care in the other state.

When will we know where we stand on this issue, when we can get the financial help and who, in each state is going to be giving this support out?

It California, social service would rather give financial aid to total strangers(foster care homes) then they would a relative of the child/children that was in foster care. Foster care children get more financial help, get a COLA, get an increase on their birthday and are guaranteed a college scholarship. As it is now, the only thing we can get is CalWorks that is not even enough to take care of the needs of one child let alone 3.

grammyh

JHENRY said...

If any body knows the answers to my questions, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I am at my wits end dealing with government officials. The local chapter of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, as well as CFLC/KinCare are willing to pat you on the back for the good job you are doing but when you ask them for help, they suddenly aren't in communication with you so you might as well do the finding out on your own.

grammyh371@live.com

grammyh said...

It is now April 19, 2009 and I am still fighting social service for financial help for my grandchildren. We can't even get Federal Food Stamps. There are so many different federal poverty guidelines and no one at my local TANF office uses the guideline for those who are elderly(6o years and older) and disabled. They only go by the County poverty guide line, which is way less than the Federal guideline for elderly or disabled.

When is the the legislative victory be implemented?
Where can I go for some answers?

grammyh371@live.com