Monday, July 13, 2009

Financial assistance, Kincare, is available through county department of social services for relatives caring for children

Due to substance abuse problems, many children come to be cared for by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings. There is a program in New York State called Kincare which provides financial assistance for this care based on the income of the child not the caregiver. To find out more contact your county's social services department.

From the Buffalo News on 06/27/09:

The public assistance program, dubbed Kincare, provides $400 a month for one child and $125 a month for each additional child in a household headed by a grandparent or other relative.

The grant is based solely on the child’s income, and not on the caregiver’s. Because of that, Kincare families need not be low-income. The nonparent caregiver must be full time. And kinship caregivers do not need legal custody or guardianship to apply for these grants.

Yet the financial benefits program is underutilized, said officials of Catholic Charities and AARP New York State, which make up the New York State Kincare Coalition.

According to figures presented by the coalition, there are about 410,000 children in the state who are being raised by a grandparent or other relative.

Of that, state figures show that about 8 percent—or about 32,000 eligible children — are currently receiving the nonparent grant.

Approximately 19,000 children in the City of Buffalo and the counties of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany are being raised by a grandparent.

To read the whole article, click here.

Kinship care is far superior to foster care when children need to be removed from their family of origin due to substance abuse of the parents. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings often provide care to children whose parents are too ill to provide the care themselves. This of course, is often a huge stress on the children as well as the caregivers. Any assistance we can provide to the caregivers is appropriate and therapeutic.

This is article #17 in series on substance abuse a Family Disease.

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