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February 2013Vol. 14, No. 1GAP Funds Promote Permanency

Among the provisions of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 is the establishment of the Federal Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP). States can use GAP funds to provide subsidies to relative caregivers who become permanent guardians to children in foster care.

A new report details interviews with stakeholders in the 29 States, the District of Columbia, and the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe in Washington State that have been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services for Federal funding from the GAP program. Interviews were conducted by staff from Children's Defense Fund, Child Trends, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Casey Family Programs, Child Focus, and Generations United.

Early findings show that GAP has enabled States to either start subsidized guardianship programs or expand existing programs. The benefits to children in kin guardianships include enabling them to stay connected to family and to their culture, maintaining connections with siblings and other birth family members, and achieving permanency when adoption or reunification with birth parents are not viable options. The challenges that States face in implementing GAP also are discussed in the report.

Making it Work: Using the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) to Close the Permanency Gap for Children in Foster Care is available on the Children's Defense Fund website: ( 12 MB)