Governor Doug Ducey is calling to increase funding for grandparents and other close relatives who raise kids in foster care, helping families stay together and ensuring all caregivers have the support they need.
In his State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said:
“Often, it’s grandma or grandpa; an aunt or uncle, who steps up to care for [vulnerable] kids. It can be better for the child, and often, cheaper for the state because historically, they haven’t been treated as foster families. More than 6,000 children in Arizona live in these homes, all the evidence you need that you can’t put a price tag on love. So moving forward, these loving extended family members should have the same resources as any other foster family. We’ll make sure of that this year.”
Kinship families are extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, who become caregivers for a child when a child enters into Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) care due to abuse or neglect. These kinship homes are often familiar and a loving place for children and can be less traumatic for a child than being placed in an unfamiliar location.
However, kinship and foster care are not compensated equally. Foster parents receive an average monthly stipend of approximately $700 to support bringing in a child to their families, while kinship families receive $75 a month. Many of these kinship families are headed by grandparents on a fixed income and taking on these children can cause great financial strain…