Generations United applauds the bicameral, bipartisan agreement on the Preventing Sex Traffickingand Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980) for recognizing and supporting the needs of grandfamilies, families where children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives either inside or outside of the formal foster care system.
Specifically, children being raised in grandfamilies will benefit from the provisions which:
- extend kinship navigators and family finding through Family Connection Grants,
- expand the adoption incentives program to include permanent guardianships and increase incentives for older youth,
- promote “normalcy” for children in foster care including kinship foster care,
- more fully engage youth in planning for their permanency,
- require adoption assistance de-link savings to be reinvested in post-permanency services, and
- preserve eligibility for kinship guardianship assistance payments with a successor guardian.
While we affirm these important steps to supporting grandfamilies, we elevate the need for further reforms and ladders to stability and permanency for children. In particular we are committed to working with both parties to ensure the Family Connection Grants are extended beyond the current year. These grants support kinship navigator programs, one of the few sources of information and support for grandfamilies who are both keeping children with extended family and saving taxpayers more than $6.5 billion each year by keeping children out of foster care.
Generations United looks forward to supporting future efforts related to child welfare finance reform and ensuring the availability of additional prevention, post-permanency services and other supports for grandfamilies who step up to raise children when they cannot remain with their birth parents.
Thank you for your commitment to ensuring safe, stable and permanent homes for children and preserving their family and cultural ties whenever possible.