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theoretical if the foster youth in placement was a parenting foster youth or a youth with a
developmental disability requiring services from one of California’s Regional Centers. In June of
2017, California’s Governor signed a budget that included funding for children being parented by
foster youth (known as the infant supplement) and the dual agency rate to all foster youth placed
with relatives, regardless of whether the youth qualifies for federal reimbursement.139 Children
with special developmental needs and parenting foster youth finally will receive the same funding
they would receive if they were placed with a non-relative caretaker.
While these are great steps forward, financial equity between kinship caregivers and non-related caregivers is not sufficient. As outlined in this paper, relatives have different needs than
non-relative caretakers and will need further supports to be able to adequately care for children
placed in their homes. Without full supports and services for all foster families, particularly kinship
caregivers, there will continue to be a severe deficit of available foster family homes throughout
the state. This short-sighted approach may mean more children being bounced between group
homes and families unable to meet their intensive needs.
IV. BEST PRACTICES – HOW OTHER STATES AND COUNTRIES SUPPORT KINSHIP FAMILIES
There are numerous models available to demonstrate how to best provide services and
support to kinship caregivers. A sample of these models is reviewed in this section. These
examples can be used as guidelines to help build a comprehensive program to support the needs
of kinship families.
Alleghany County, Pennsylvania provides one example of appropriate and needed support
for kinship families. The County has partnered with A Second Chance, Inc. (ASCI) to provide
kinship care training for caregivers specifically designed to address the dynamics of kinship
families.140 Additionally, ASCI provides intensive in-home services, emergency assistance
(including a clothing bank and flexible funding for other necessities), respite services, and
transportation for kinship families.141
Another example can be seen in Florida where, in 2000, the University of South Florida,
created a statewide Kinship Care Warmline.142 This warmline is a statewide, toll-free listening line
for kinship caregivers who need emotional support, as well as information and referrals to
services.143 Offering the emotional support in conjunction with needed resources provides an
added layer of assistance and protection to help kinship caregiving families get through the more
North Carolina has also provided support for kinship caregivers by creating an in-depth
resource guide for partnering with all caregivers that includes specific information pertaining to
how to best support kinship caregivers.144 In addition to encouraging social workers to keep in
139 S.B. 89 § 37, 2017-2018 Reg. Sess. (Ca. 2017) (amending Welfare and Institutions Code § 11465).
140 ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION, STEPPING UP FOR KIDS: WHAT GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITIES SHOULD DO TO
SUPPORT KINSHIP FAMILIES 13 (Jan. 2012), http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF-SteppingUpForKids-
142 KINSHIP CARE WARMLINE, https://www.rightservicefl.org/hillsborough/node/16969 (last visited Feb. 15, 2018).
144 N.C. DIV. OF SOC. SERVS. CHILD WELFARE SERVS. SECTION, TREAT THEM LIKE GOLD: A BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
FOR PARTNERING WITH RESOURCE FAMILIES 9 (Jan. 2009),