I had a chance to read The New York Times articles this week on the foster care system in New York. It amazes me how a bureaucratic nightmare can jeopardize an entire foster care system and prevent so many kids from finding a permanent home. I really think we have to look at federal subsidized guardianship as part of the solution. Subsidized guardianship removes so much of the unnecessary administrative work for kids who have already found a safe and loving home with a family member and just need a permanency option. And the more kids who find permanent homes, the more resources and energy foster care agencies will have to devote to other kids.
The numbers and percentages of children with grandparents and relatives speak for themselves. In New York 17% of foster children were living with a relative on average between 2001 and 2003. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, almost six million children across the country were living in households headed by grandparents and other relatives.
Just remember… Kids age out of a system. They don’t age out of a family.