FIJ Quarterly - Fall 2022 Edition

Decreasing Length of Residency Amend section 473(d)(3)(A)(i)(II) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 673(d)(3)(A)(i)(II)) by striking “eligible for foster care maintenance payments under section 472 while residing for at least 6” and inserting “residing for at least 3.” Directly delinking KinGap AFDC requirements does not benefit as many Kin families as clarifying that Kin are not required to be licensed foster care providers prior to being eligible for KinGAP. To decrease the time that Kin caregivers could go without federal support, modify the 6- month residency period to a 3-month period. Keep the requirement that the child is in the care and custody of the child welfare agency (Section 473(d)(3)(A)), but remove the requirement that the child be eligible for Title IV-E foster care maintenance payment. Title IV-E agencies are free to implement safety requirements such as home studies and background checks. If necessary, clarify that the amended relative criminal history checks (Section 471(a)(20)(C)) apply. Requiring Diligent Recruitment of Kin To address the issue of recruitment of Kin, add implementation requirements to existing law to facilitate a focus on Kinship care by clarifying that “diligent recruitment” includes locating relatives. Implement Kin Location into Case Planning Sec. 422(b)(7) of the Social Security Act requires that the state’s IV-B, Subpart 1 plan “Provide for locating and involving relatives and fictive Kin as a permanent part of case planning, address barriers to family involvement, and provide for the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in the State for whom foster and adoptive homes are needed.” Documentation of Continual Efforts Sec. 471(a)(19) of the SSA requires that the state’s IV-E plan “provides that the State shall make and document continual efforts to identify and locate relatives or fictive Kin as a potential placement and family support

where his interests include child welfare administration and federalism. Charles E. Lewis, Jr., a political social worker, is

the founder and director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), a nonprofit organization that works to engage social workers with the U.S. Congress.

resource and consider giving preference to an adult relative over a nonrelated caregiver when determining a placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant child protection standards.” Clear and Convincing Evidence If the State determines that placement with any relative or fictive Kin is not in the child’s best interest or that the relative does not meet the requirements of a relative caregiver, the State must document the basis for that decision with clear and convincing evidence. If the State determines that efforts to identify and locate relatives and fictive Kin would be futile or inconsistent with the child’s best interests, the State shall document the basis of its determination with clear and convincing evidence. Kin as Visitation Resources if Placement is Found Inappropriate If the State determines that the child requires placement in an environment other than a home environment, the State shall make continual efforts to identify and locate relatives to serve as visitation resources for the child and potential future placement resources. _________________________ Angelique Day, Ph.D., MSW, is an Associate Professor School of Social Work and Adjunct Faculty, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance; Faculty Affiliate and Federal Policy Lead, Partners for Our Children Faculty Affiliate, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute University of Washington, Seattle. Grace Nielson is a current undergraduate, senior social work student at the University of Missouri. Nielson's focus areas lie in child welfare policy, domestic violence prevention, and political management. She serves the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work Policy as a Senior Leader for their annual Student Advocacy Day Conference and has previously served in the U.S House of Representatives as a Congressional and Legislative Intern. Scout Hartley is a PhD student at the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration,


74 | FIJ Quarterly | Fall 2022

FIJ Quarterly | Fall 2022 | 75

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