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Strong Families Build Strong Children
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2021 State of Grandfamilies Report Release
Today, Generations United is excited to release our 2021 State of Grandfamilies Report, Reinforcing a Strong Foundation: Equitable Supports for Basic Needs of Grandfamilies.
Highlights the remarkable strengths of grandfamilies, including showcasing several of our GRAND Voices;
Details ways in which the support and services a family can receive depends on its personal characteristics, like sex, age, race, socioeconomic status or a caregiver’s legal or personal relationship with a child; and
Offers policymakers and decision-makers recommendations to help better support grandfamilies and help them thrive.
The quality and level of support for grandfamilies is unjust, and services too often are unavailable or inaccessible. Grandfamily caregivers should not face needless barriers to providing children with basic needs like health care, safe housing, and nutritious food. This must change.
You can access the report, report summary, and press release HERE or download below:
DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES
TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), commonly known as welfare, is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18. Cooperation with Office of Child Support Services is a requirement of receiving TANF benefits.
Medicaid is a program that provides health care services to individuals who meet the requirements for income, resources, and citizenship. Cooperation with Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services is a requirement of receiving certain types of Medicaid. Individuals may apply for Medicaid at any local Division of Family and Children Services office, by mail or by telephone (1.877.423.4746).
KINSHIP CARE PORTAL
The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) today launched a new web portal aimed at providing Georgia’s kinship caregivers with information on available resources as they seek to provide care for relative children.
Kinship care refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or non-relative adult who has a long-standing relationship or bond with the child and/or family, has taken over the full-time, substitute care of a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to do so.
“When a child experiences trauma and is not able to be in the care of their biological parents, relatives can provide the stability a child needs during a very difficult time,” said Bobby Cagle, the director of the Division of Family and Children Services. “Kinship caregivers are our partners in child welfare, and it is important to us that they have the knowledge and access to resources needed to help children thrive.”
The Division’s Kinship Navigator Program is one resource available to kinship caregivers highlighted on the portal. Kinship navigators across the state assist kinship families in identifying and accessing financial and other supports available to them.
The portal also gives kinship caregivers information on organizations across the state that provide non-financial support, including legal help and emotional support.
“Grandparents and other relatives are an asset to the community and are vital in the effort to safeguard Georgia’s children,” said DHS Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden. “It is our goal to support those kinship caregivers with the resources they need to best care for their families.”
The development of the Kinship Care Portal is a result of the passage of House Bill 962 during the 2016 Legislative Session. The bill was a result of the recommendations of the Kinship Care Study Committee, chaired by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D – Atlanta).
For more information on resources available to kinship caregivers in Georgia, visit https://dhs.georgia.gov/kinship-care-portal.
FOSTERCARE (see Link)
Adoptive Parents are “forever families” who make a lifelong commitment to a child. They serve children whose birth parents’ parental rights have been voluntarily surrendered or terminated by a court, thus making the children legally free for adoption. Adoptive Parents may also be relatives in which case they are called Relative Adoptive Parents.
CAPS (Childcare and Parents Services)
Effective December 18, 2017 ALL components of the CAPS program transferred from the Division of Families and Children Services (DFCS) to the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL).
This transfer from DFCS to DECAL will not affect the financial support provided by CAPS because the program's policies and reimbursement systems remain the same.
In past years families worked with CAPS case managers at local DFCS offices to apply for and renew CAPS certificates. Now, a family applying for or receiving CAPS will engage with DECAL staff members. CAPS staff will not be located in DFCS offices although most DFCS offices will have computer kiosks that families can use to apply for and upload documents related to CAPS.
At DECAL, we have re-envisioned the CAPS program as a stronger component of the early education system – so instead of receiving "certificates" for child care, families will receive CAPS "scholarships", and CAPS becomes an important pathway to ensure access to high quality child care for CAPS families.
Under DECAL, families will interact with two main units of the CAPS program. The Scholarship Administration unit, based in Atlanta, will work with new applicants to determine eligibility for the program, renew CAPS benefits, and help select high quality child care.
Consultants with the Family Support unit will be assigned to families who live in their region of the state. These Family Support Consultants will work with and advocate for families, will help families if their situation changes, and will connect families with resources to help overcome obstacles to training or employment.
As always, DECAL remains committed to providing great service to children, to families, and to child care providers.
SOCIAL SECURITY SERVICES
Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal aid program available to Americans of all ages with serious physical or mental disabilities. Adults applying for SSI must demonstrate that a disability or disabilities prevent or severely impact the ability to earn enough money to live. Individuals who qualify for SSI don’t meet the “Substantial Gainful Activity” earnings threshold. Click Substantial Gainful Activity to learn more about SSA’s standard. You can obtain an SSI application at your local Social Security office or by contacting Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request a hard copy application form.
Kinship Resources: About
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