The foster care system falls far short of our society’s needs and expectations. But measures are afoot to help improve it.
Some of the improvements relate to kinship foster care, child care provided to dependent children by extended family members instead of strangers.
Two and one-half million American children live with extended family members, whether within or outside the foster care system.
In New York State, 400,000 kids live with relatives, as compared to 27,000 children in foster care with non-relatives.
Kinship foster care is more successful than foster care by strangers. The caregivers simply have greater commitment.
But they get a lot less support from the child welfare system, both financial and otherwise. Until, perhaps, now.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill called Fostering Connections To Success Act.
Among other things, the bill would provide funding for kinship foster care and kinship guardianship.
Similar bills are pending in the Senate.
If passed by both houses, this type of legislation could make an enormous difference to millions of children in foster care and their caregivers, including extended family members.