Synopsis As Introduced Creates the Kinship Navigator Act. Defines "kinship care" as the full time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, grandparents, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has physical custody and a kinship bond with a child. This definition is designed to be inclusive without age restrictions on the kinship caregiver and respectful of cultural values and ties of affection. It allows a child to grow to adulthood in a family environment. Establishes a program, to be administered through a grant to a not-for-profit organization, to serve as liaison among State agencies and groups, to promote kinship care through conferences, and to provide the following services: organizing diverse, enriched, and culturally conscious kinship support groups and counseling; assisting with applying for benefits within the Family Community Resource Centers for those who qualify; publishing monthly newsletters; coordinating respite and crisis care services; assisting kinship caregivers with job readiness, job search, and job retention; and providing technical assistance to start up kinship support groups. Amends the Children and Family Services Act to provide for coordination with the grandparent child care program. Effective immediately.
Deletes everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the bill with the following changes: Makes the Navigator a program coordinated by various State agencies and provided by a Department of Human Services non-profit organization contractor (now, the Navigator is a liaison among State agencies and is a non-profit organization grantee of the Department of Human Services). Adds the Department on Aging to those agencies coordinating the Navigator. Amends the Children and Family Services Act and the Family Caregiver Act. Requires that the Navigator coordinate the Navigator program with the services provided pursuant to those Acts. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.
Fiscal Note (Dept. of Human Services)
The Department of Human Services anticipates little or no additional costs since existing resources could be utilized and federal funds might be realized.