These grandparents and other relative caregivers often lack information about their rights as caregivers and about obtaining a range of support services. Unlike parents, kinship caregivers face challenges enrolling children in school, getting medical care, accessing family rights, and obtaining necessary benefits. In response to their needs,
Each year, these programs provide essential services to over 4,000 children. These children live with family members for the same reasons that children are in foster care - because their parents abused, neglected or abandoned them, or their parents are alcohol and/or substance abusers, are deceased, mentally ill, or are unable or unwilling to parent.
These programs clearly save the state money. In
The total cost of all of the state's kinship programs is less than what it costs for just 100 children in foster care. These kinship families are not part of the "formal" foster care system. They are "informal" kinship care providers, and without their caregiving efforts, more children would be sent to the more expensive foster care system.
In addition to cost implications, there are numerous studies showing children raised by family members live in safer and more stable homes than children in the care of non-relatives. In fact, a recent study, published in the
AARP strongly believes that when the Governor releases his budget next week, he should embrace the work of these programs and continue to assist these kinship families.
SOURCE AARP New York State