Several weeks ago, I was a member of a workshop panel at the 2014 Child Welfare League of America’s National Kinship Care Conference. It was a great experience – I was able to connect with state representatives, advocates, and researchers working on a variety of kinship issues—issues facing grandparents, relatives, and close family friends (also known as fictive kin) who are raising children either inside or outside of the child welfare system. My panel shared our findings from a 2012 study on states that have Title IV-E guardianship assistance programs (GAP). Established in 2008 by The Fostering Connections Act, GAP provides financial assistance for grandparents and relatives who care for children who have been removed from their parents due to child abuse or neglect. The program allows children and families that meet federal and state requirements to achieve permanency and exit the child welfare system, while continuing to receive financial support. Currently, 31 states, the District of Columbia, and four tribes have GAP programs.
Our report, Making it Work: Using the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) to Close the Permanency Gap for Children in Foster Care, discusses findings from a series of interviews with the states that have taken up the Title IV-E GAP option. Read More