Permanency Subcommittee – August 17, 2018
Kinship Care Town Hall Meetings
Allison Gilbreath from Voices for Virginia’s Children reported on the Kinship Care Town Hall Meetings. She has been going across the state to get input and feedback from kinship care families and workers. The most common concern is that they are not getting financial assistance. Medicaid access is a positive, but it is difficult to find providers in the western part of the state. Another concern that was brought up is the lack of information and communication with these families. They aren’t getting information on why the kids were removed. Opioid use is often the issue, but in northern Virginia, serious mental illness is also causing more relatives to take in kinship children. Childcare cost is a significant issue in all parts of the state and in the western part of the state, there are very few childcare options. Minority kinship families are often single parent households. Kinship Navigator is a community-based resource where relatives can go to get information to help care for the children that have been placed with them. The Kinship Navigator has to be a DSS employee, but does not have to be based in the DSS building. Families in some areas of the state are reluctant to go to DSS to access this. There is money through the Family First Prevention Services Act to cover the Kinship Navigator, but not enough money to cover the whole state(each county). They are hoping to cover all five regions and are taking applications from counties. One suggestion to help kinship families would be to increase child-only TANF – even if it could only be increased for kinship families. There is extra money there that is not being used. Voices for Virginia’s Children will be putting a report out in late fall compiling the information from the Kinship Care Town Hall Meetings.
Post Adoption Consultation Project Overview
ChildTrends was awarded the contract to see what is and isn’t working in providing services to adopted youth and families. They will conduct interviews, focus groups and online surveys. Between February and April 2020, they will issue a final report on the findings and make recommendations. They are being asked to make recommendations based on regional needs.
The federal government requires state social services to run yearly credit checks on children in care at age 14+. Credit should not be an issue as these children are not old enough to have credit. If there are problems, we want to clear them up before the kids turn 18 so it isn’t a barrier to getting a job or credit. The state runs a report one month after the birthday of children in care and sends it to the local agency. 44 agencies have kids with issues. There is an average of 10% of those credit checks that are run that have issues.