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Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Every kid deserves a family and a safe place to call home. When a child experiences the trauma of being removed from their home due to abuse or neglect they need support from caring and capable adults who have the resources to meet their needs. Relative caregivers often provide a safe alternative for kids who cannot remain safely with their parents.
Today, the Supreme Court denied the appeal of the 6th Circuit Court’s January ruling to allow relatives providing foster care for children to seek payments in the same way as licensed foster care providers. This means grandparents and other relatives caring for children who are the responsibility of the state are eligible for foster care funds.
Kinship caregivers step up to care for children despite of the financial burden it often places on their family. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has taken steps in recent months to support kin raising children by offering child care assistance and making the process easier for caregivers to obtain the one-time relative placement support benefit. Today’s action by the Supreme Court is another big step forward to ensure Kentucky relatives have access to the financial supports they need to care for our most vulnerable.