A law with the cumbersome name of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 may soon be changing the lives of children who have been removed from their homes. It requires that states have a plan for foster care with provisions critical to many grandparents:
- Within 30 days after removal of a child from parental custody, the state shall attempt to identify and notify all the child's adult relatives of the removal.
- The child's relatives must receive information about how to participate in the child's care and placement.
- The relatives must be informed about how to become a foster family home and what services are available for children placed in such a home.
- The relatives must be advised about the availability of kinship guardianship assistance payments.
According to my reading of the full text of the plan, states have been given time to put these provisions in place, so the law may not have had much impact yet.
This program could help children, grandparents and taxpayers. Children placed with grandparents are more likely to:
- Stay in the placement
- Maintain connections with siblings and extended family
- Have their situation legalized through adoption or legal guardianship
One troubling aspect of grandparent care is that the children are possibly more likely to see their parents. If the parents have been abusive or neglectful, such contact could be disastrous.
If you have information or an opinion about the new law or grandparents as foster parents, leave a comment below.
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