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September 2003Vol. 4, No. 7State Guide to Subsidized Guardianship

Due in part to the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997, States are looking for innovative ways to move children in the foster care system to permanency more quickly. In cases where adoption is not appropriate, many States have established subsidized guardianship programs to provide financial support to families (often relatives of the child) who agree to care for the child permanently.

The Children's Defense Fund and Cornerstone Consulting recently published a practical guide for States on key issues of subsidized guardianship. Expanding Permanency Options for Children includes:

  • Frequently asked questions about subsidized guardianship programs.
  • A checklist for State legislation on subsidized guardianship, including 10 key issues to consider when reviewing or developing legislation on this issue.
  • Creative legislative approaches to subsidized guardianship.
  • State-by-State information on subsidized guardianship programs, including child eligibility, caregiver considerations, State agency considerations, and payment levels.

A copy of this report can be obtained through the Children's Defense Fund website at