- March 2007
- Vol. 8, No. 2
Preventive Subsidized Guardianship
Preventive subsidized guardianship programs are a relatively new type of program designed to support kinship caregivers and keep children from entering the foster care system. A recent report examines programs in six States (Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio) and the District of Columbia that provide assistance to children living with kinship caregivers under subsidized guardianships. The goals of these programs include:
- Avoiding out-of-home placement of children
- Assisting low-income and predominantly female caregivers
- Reducing the number of minority children entering foster care
- Achieving permanency for older youth
The report suggests that one of the primary benefits of the guardianship programs is the monthly subsidy given to kinship caregivers, which comes from child welfare or economic assistance funding, or a combination of both. A few also provide childcare, medical care, "start-up" funding, legal assistance funds, referral services, and/or counseling services. Subsidies vary from State to State and usually are awarded to kinship caregivers who meet certain eligibility requirements.
Although some of these programs face funding and administrative challenges, the report notes that they provide valuable lessons for other kinship guardianship programs. By giving more options to kinship caregivers, child welfare providers, and children, these programs play a preventive role in strengthening community and family bonds.
The report includes an appendix comparing sources of funding, caregiver eligibility requirements, subsidy amounts, program assessments, and the number of participants in each State. To read "Preventive" Subsidized Guardianship Programs: An Emerging Option for Permanent Kinship Care, go to: