Around 26 percent of foster children placed with a relative
Yesterday we told about about the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s important new report on kinship care — how children can find stable, nurturing support from other relatives when their parents can’t care for them. That report showed that 26 percent of American foster children get placed with a relative. But some states clocked much lower rates, with Georgia at 14 percent, Alabama at 12 percent, and Tennessee at just 8 percent.
“We know children do better when they are with families, with those people who know them,” Pam Brown, director of Tennessee’s KIDS COUNT project, tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “The children who are with grandpa, grandma or an aunt or uncle know a different kind of support.”
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services disputes the Foundation’s numbers, but the fact remains that more can be done to support kinship families. Annie E. Casey’s report is full of recommendations that policymakers can work on now, like ensuring that kinship families get the benefits they’re eligible for (nearly all kinship care arrangements qualify for support from TANF, yet only 12 percent take advantage).
“Any amount of intervention increases the financial stability for these families caring for their kin,” Brown said.