Thousands of Kinship Foster Parents Receive Pandemic Relief
Thank you to Governor Ducey, DES Director Michael Wisehart, and DCS Director Mike Faust for directing over $9 million in COVID relief to ensure that foster children placed with kin have the supports they need to weather the public health crisis. The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds are being distributed to more than 3,000 relatives who care for over 5,000 foster children. Eligible caregivers will receive a one-time stipend of $1,800 per child.
CAA also thanks Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors and Kinship Caregivers for its partnership in advocating for the relief funds and is grateful to Representative Joanne Osborne who helped negotiate for this money and to Senator Lela Alston who tirelessly advocates for kinship families in the legislature.
Relatives play a critical role in Arizona’s child welfare system, stepping up to care for more than 50% of the state’s foster children. However, because relative caregivers typically step in at a time of family crisis and don’t plan to become foster parents, the vast majority are not licensed which means that they receive just $75 a month for each child in their care—far less than the $641 that is provided when a child is placed with a licensed foster parent. COVID-19 has stretched the already thin resources of many of these families to the breaking point and this relief will provide crucial help to kinship foster families.