Rep. Gomez Introduces Bill to Support Underserved Children Living With Relatives

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Representatives Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and Danny Davis (IL-07), Chair of the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee on Ways and Means, introduced legislation to provide safety and stability for children placed in the care of their grandparents, relatives, or close family friends. Specifically, the Fostering Secure Family Partnerships Act increases federal funding for state Kinship Navigator Programs — which provide caregivers with information, education, and referrals to a wide range of services and supports. These programs are crucial to helping kinship caregivers navigate the many systems that impact them, including child welfare, aging, education, housing, and health care.

“More than 2.7 million children are being raised by their grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends. When kinship caregivers take on this responsibility, they often receive little to no financial support or guidance to meet the needs of the children,” said Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34). “Children with kinship caregivers are more likely to come from Black and Indigenous communities. The Fostering Secure Family Partnerships Act addresses inequitable access to support by providing robust federal funding for Kinship Navigator Programs, which are crucial to engaging underserved communities and promoting increased access to these services.”

“My Congressional District has one of the highest rates of kinship caregiving in the nation,” said Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-07). “We established the Kinship Navigator programs to help provide additional guidance to family caregivers when they are doing their best to meet the needs of their young relatives. Chicago has outstanding organizations that help kinship caregivers, and Navigator programs provide an important connection or link caregivers to these supports. I am proud to join with Rep. Gomez to advocate for greater federal support for these Navigator programs to improve access to services to help strengthen children and families.”

"Kinship care is a valuable permanency option for children in out-of-home care. It helps children maintain connections with their families and communities, access information about their family history and background, and preserves their connections to family traditions, history, and culture,” said the President and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America, Christine James-Brown. “Kinship Navigator programs help the growing number of kinship caregivers identify and access appropriate services to meet their own needs to sustain permanency and meet the needs of the children they are raising. The Child Welfare League of America is pleased to endorse the Fostering Secure Family Partnerships Act and we look forward to working with Representative Gomez to reduce funding barriers and ensure adequate support for Kinship Navigator programs."

The Fostering Secure Family Partnerships Act will support states in making long-term permanent investments in their programs to connect kinship caregivers with the resources they need to keep children safe, loved, and stable.

The Fostering Secure Family Partnerships Act is endorsed by the National Association of County Human Services Administrators, County Welfare Directors Association of California, the National Association of Counties, and the Child Welfare League of America.

See text of the legislation here.


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