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What is the intervention?

Effective December 2023, a groundbreaking initiative began in North Carolina aimed at providing crucial support to kinship care providers. These caregivers, stepping into the vital role of nurturing children in state custody, will now become eligible for monthly stipends totaling $405 per child. This landmark development marks the implementation of the Kinship Care Payments program, a visionary initiative brought to fruition through the passage of Senate Bill 20.

Senate Bill 20 stands as a testament to North Carolina’s commitment to addressing the needs of children in state custody by authorizing the Department of Health and Human Services to extend financial support to kinship care providers. This program is unique as it offers stipends without imposing the requirement of obtaining a foster care license, thus streamlining access to much-needed financial support.

This pioneering legislation signifies a monumental shift in recognizing and valuing the vital contributions made by kinship care providers. By offering financial assistance per child monthly, the program not only seeks to alleviate the financial burden on these caregivers but also acknowledges and supports the stability and nurturing environment they provide for children within the state’s custody.

What makes it a Bright Spot?

Though recently implemented, monthly payments make kinship care a more obtainable option for family members who want to help a loved one but are financially burdened by such a choice. Kin placement is the preferred method of temporary placement for children in the system. It also helps lessen the impact of the shortage of foster homes in the state of North Carolina. This progressive step defines a new era of recognition and support for kinship care providers, reinforcing the notion that the welfare of children in state custody is a collective responsibility. Through the Kinship Care Payments program, North Carolina is advocating for the rights and support systems vital to nurturing and safeguarding the lives of vulnerable children while honoring the dedication of kinship care providers.

What steps can you take?

  • Begin conversations at your agency around kinship care payments.
  • Approach your legislation with this resource and encourage them to incorporate a similar approach in your state.

Downloadables

These downloadable resources may help provide additional context and information about this family-approved resource for systems change.

Senate Bill 20 – Section 6.6.(c)

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