Gov. Ducey proposes increasing stipend for kinship caregivers

More from this show

Governor Doug Ducey recently proposed to increase the stipend given to foster children cared for by grandparents and other extended family members.

This is called “kinship care,”and is utilized by Arizona at a much higher rate than the national average. According to the Children’s Action Alliance as of June 2021, 52% of all children in DCS’s custody were placed with a relative compared to the national average of 32%.

Research shows that placing children with relatives can mitigate the trauma of being separated from their parents and provide better outcomes, David Lujan, the President and CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance, said.

However, the state has not provided foster children living with relatives adequate financial support. A foster child who is placed with an unlicensed relative is provided with a monthly stipend of just $75 a month. If that same foster child were placed with a non-relative foster parent, they would receive, on average, $641 a month. Lujan said that the stipend disparity makes no sense, and that it “just makes sense” to make these changes.

Ducey’s proposal raises the $75 dollar stipend to $300. By raising the stipend and streamlining the licensing procedures for kinship family members, it will allow an additional $210 federal dollars to be drawn down for each child, Lujan said.

Hopefully, increasing the stipend will keep more children in the care of their family members.

“The research shows that you get far better outcomes when children are placed with family members and so we should be compensating them the same. It costs the same to take care of the child whether you’re with a license foster care parent or a family member…” Lujan said.

 

 

David Lujan/Pres. & CEO, Children's Action Alliance

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024
airs April 16

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates as part of ‘AZ Votes 2024’

The Capital building with text reading: Circle on Circle: Robert Lowell's D.C.
May 2

An evening with ‘Poetry in America’

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 12

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Poetry in America image with photos of four poets and the name of the show
airs April 18

Mushrooms, Weakness and Doubt 

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: