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!