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U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE BRIEFING ON KINSHIP CARE IN SUPPORT OF THE KINSHIP CAREGIVER SUPPORT ACT (H.R. 2188 and S. 661) Presented by Dr. Joseph Crumbley, LCSW PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE BRIEFING ON KINSHIP CARE IN SUPPORT OF THE KINSHIP CAREGIVER SUPPORT ACT (H.R. 2188 and S. 661) Presented by Dr. Joseph Crumbley, LCSW. Phone # 215-884-7889 E-Mail: [email protected] Website: www.drcrumbley.com.

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U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE BRIEFING ON KINSHIP CARE IN SUPPORT OF THE KINSHIP CAREGIVER SUPPORT ACT (H.R. 2188 and S. 661) Presented by Dr. Joseph Crumbley, LCSW

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U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE BRIEFING ON KINSHIP CARE IN SUPPORT OF

THE KINSHIP CAREGIVER SUPPORT ACT

(H.R. 2188 and S. 661)

Presented by

Dr. Joseph Crumbley, LCSW

Phone # 215-884-7889

E-Mail: [email protected]

Website: www.drcrumbley.com


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Controversial Issues About Kinship Care

  • Why pay or support caregivers for what they should do? Caregivers should be taking care of their relatives’ children. That’s what family members do.

  • Kinship families don’t have the same rights, nor should they be treated the same as “real” families (i.e., single/two-parent, adoptive or foster families). Caregivers aren’t the child’s “real” parents. Some of them aren’t even related to the child’s family. Some of these caregivers may be the cause of the parents’ problems.

  • Kinship families are temporary, not permanent.


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Why We Need Kinship Care

  • Kinship care is the “flood gate” protecting the child welfare system from:

    • The enormous number of children that could potentially overwhelm the child welfare system if they came into care (2.5 million children).1

    • The enormous cost to the taxpayers for providing care to these children (approximately $6.5 billion per/year if only one million children come into care). 2


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  • Kinship care is a “safety net” and support to families and the child welfare system.

    • 25% - 35% of all the children in the care or custody of child welfare are living in kinship care. 3

    • 6 million (1 out of 12) children in the United States are living in a household that is headed by either grandparents or relatives (other than their parents). 4

      • 78% of the children in kinship care have had no involvement with the child welfare system 5

      • 13% that have encountered the child welfare system have been diverted to voluntary kinship families 6

      • 5%-9% have been placed in kinship foster care 7


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  • 1 out of 10 grandparents as some point in their life have been the primary support for a grandchild 8

  • 4.5 million children are living in grandparent headed households (5.3% of children); 1.5 million are with other relatives

  • 2.4 million grandparents in the United States have primary responsibility for their grandchildren 9

  • 2.3 million children are now being raised by relatives; in homes in which the parents are absent 10


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  • Kinship care provides better outcomes for children than non-relative foster care.

    • There are less multiple placements. 11

    • More stable connections and contacts between the children and their birth family, schools, churches and community. 12

    • Lower rates of re-entry into foster care when re-unification with parents occur after kinship care, compared to non-relative foster or group care. 13

    • Children feel more of a sense of belonging, love and connections. 14

    • Less disruptions of placements, due to running away or trying to leave. 15

    • More likely to live with siblings, if placed with kin. 16


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Reasons for Supporting Kinship Care and the Kinship Care Support Act

  • Visible Stress Fractures, Factors and Indicators

    • 54% of the children in kinship care live in a household below the federal poverty level, compared to 16% living in parent-headed households 17

    • 19% of the grandparents providing kinship care are below the poverty level 18

    • 27% of the children with grandparents lack health insurance, compared to 10% who live with at least one parent 19

    • The request for “child only grants” and TANF is increasing, for which the TANF system is not prepared 20

    • 70% of relative caregivers do not access TANF or any public assistance 21

    • TANF covers 57% of the annual cost to raise a child22

    • 19% of children live in households of 4 or more children23


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  • There has been a 30% increase in relative care families since the 1990’s24

  • 35% of the grandparents are between 50 and 59 years old; 21% are between 60 and 69; 8% are 70 and older25

  • 47% of the grandparents are White; 29% are Black; 17% are Hispanic/Latino; 3% are Asian; 2% are Native American26

  • Grandparent caregivers are likely to neglect their own medical needs in order to meet their children’s needs27

  • Over 50% of the 2.4 million grandparents are working or have returned to work28

  • 54% have cared for their grandchildren for at least 3 years; 39% for 5 or more years29

  • 55% of the caregivers are single households 30

  • Children show a greater degree of physical, behavioral and emotional problems than the general population often due to the difficult situations that caused them to be place with their relatives. 31


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Debatable Issues:

  • Should caregivers be paid for or supported for doing what they should do?

  • Are kinship families “real families”, that deserve the same status, entitlements and support of other families (i.e., parental, adoptive, foster families?

  • Are kinship families temporary or permanent?


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Non-Debatable Issues and Points of Agreement and Consensus:

  • Kinship care is needed by the child welfare system as a safety net and flood gate.

  • Kinship care is needed to prevent the increased cost to taxpayers for children coming into care.

  • Kinship care is needed by the children because of the stability and permanency caregivers provide.


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Bottom Line:

We need kinship care.

  • Children

  • Child Welfare System

  • Taxpayers

    Therefore, we need to support the Kinship Caregiver Support Act so that kinship families and caregivers can continue to do their job.


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References and Bibliography

1 U.S. Census Bureau Table DP-2. Profile Selected Social Characteristics: 2000. As described in Pennsylvania: A State Fact Sheet for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children. A factsheet produced by six (6) agencies, including AARP. Last updated May 2007.

2 This figure was calculated based on the federal share of the 2000 average monthly foster care maintenance payment, which was estimated at $545. As referenced in “Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda.” Generations United. January 2005.

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AFCARS, preliminary estimates as of March 2003. As referenced in Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda.” Generations United. January 2005.

4 See No. 1 above.

5 See No. 2 above.

6 See No. 2 above.

7 See No. 2 above.

8 PA Department of Aging website. http://www.aging.state.pa.usPennsylvania Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Six-Part Fact Sheet Series. Last updated April 23, 2007.


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9 See No. 1 above.

10 See No. 1 above.

11 Testa, M. 2001. Kinship care and permanency. Journal of Social Service Research, Vol. 28 (1) pp.25-43; Chambelain, P., et al. 2006. Who disrupts from placement in foster and kinship care? Child Abuse & Neglect, Vol. 30, pp.409-424.

12 See No. 11 above.

13 Courtney, M. & Needell, B. “Outcomes of kinship care: Lessons from California.” In Child welfare research review. Vol. 2. J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth and N. Gilbert, eds. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997, pp.130-149.

14 Wilson, L. Satisfaction of 1,100 Children in Out-of-Home Care, Primarily Family Foster Care, in Illinois’ Child Welfare System. Tallahassee, FL: Wilson Resources, 1996.

15 National Survey of Child and Adolescent well-Being (NSCAW) CPS Sample Component Wave 1 Data Analysis Report, April 2005. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, 2005).


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16 Shlonsky, A., Webster, D., & Needell, B. 2003. The ties that bind: A cross-sectional analysis of siblings in foster care. Journal of Social Service Research, Vol. 29 (3) pp. 27-52.; Wulczyn, F. & Zimmerman, E. 2005. Sibling placements in longitudinal perspective. Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 27 pp. 741-763.

17 Murray, Macomber and Geen. “Estimating Financial Support for Kinship Caregivers.” Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. 2004 .

18 See No. 1 above.

19Elders as Resources. Annie E. Casey Factsheet. 2005.

20Table 42, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Active Cases, TANF Families with no adult recipients receiving cash assistance October 2003 – September 2004. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. Retrieved December 6, 2006 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov//programs/ofa/character/FY2004/tab42.htm.

21 See No. 20 above.

22 See No. 20 above.

23 See No. 1 above.


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24 See No. 1 above.

25 Grandparents Living with Grandchildren: Census 2000 Brief. Issued October 2003.

26 See No. 1 above.

27Grandparents and Other Relative Raising Children: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda. Generations United. January 2005. Page 33.

28 Generations United Fact Sheet. Washington D.C. 2006.

29 See No. 25 above.

30 Ehrle, Green and Clarke, “Children Cared For By Relatives: Who Are They And How Are They Faring?”. Urban Institute. Washington, D.C., 2001.

31 Altshuler, S.J., (1998). Child Well-Being in Kinship Foster Care: Similar to, or Different From, Non-Related Foster Care, Children and Youth Services Review 20, 369-88. As described in Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda. Generations United. January 2005. Page 33.


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