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The chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth – U.S. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) – on Sept. 30 honored National Kinship Care Month.
“Grandparents and other relatives all over our nation step forward every day to provide a home and care for children when their biological parents are unable to do so,” the Congress members wrote in a joint statement. “These family members play a vital role in our child welfare system and often care for these children without the same resources as foster parents. This support, at times even lifesaving, deserves to be honored and recognized.”
Approximately 7.6 million children live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives, according to the Congress members. Retired Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Maya Angelou and gymnast Simone Biles are three Americans who have been cared for by a relative during their childhood.
Thousands of children in the U.S. have found safe harbor in the home of kinship care providers. Kinship care enables continuity and preserves families, the Congress members wrote. The family members play a vital role in the child welfare system and often care for children without the same resources as foster parents. Kinship caregivers have been a quiet force in strengthening communities, they said.
To kick off National Kinship Care Month, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth introduced a resolution to mark the occasion and raise awareness about and celebrate the contributions of grandparents, other relatives and family friends who provide loving homes for vulnerable children.
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