Media Puts Pressure on L.A. County to Opt-In to New Program for Relative Caregivers

Media Puts Pressure on L.A. County to Opt-In to New Program for Foster Children in Relative Care

On Sunday, September 7, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times published a piece on the opportunity Los Angeles County has to offer more equitable financial support to foster children who are in the care of a relative using state dollars. The editorial board wrote:

“This year’s California budget goes a long way toward fixing the problem. It provides money that counties can use to bring financial aid for many eligible relative caregivers up to the same level they would receive if they were non-relative foster parents. All the counties have to do is opt in by Oct. 1 to be in line for 2015 funding. Why wouldn’t they?”

This piece was preceded by a story in the Chronicle of Social Change highlighting the story of Tiffany Soto, an Alliance client who had to give up her career and sacrifice her financial stability to care for her nephew who had entered foster care. The in-depth piece also includes an interview with the Alliance’s Legal Director Laura Streimer who said:

“It’s kind of a no-brainer from where we sit. Why not roll the dice and use it now? The majority of the $30 million allocation state budget would come to L.A. County because we have the most children who qualify for it. Why wouldn’t you take that?”

Just today, the Alliance’s Policy Director Angie Schwartz appeared on KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle. Grandmothers, aunts and cousins called in to share their experience taking in a relative child who had entered foster care. They talked about the inadequacy of current support and lauded the new Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program (ARC). One grandmother noted that this funding would have made the difference for her to take in her two grandsons who are now placed in a non-relative foster home. Listen to the archived interview when it is posted here.

The Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury released a report supporting the ARC program, recommending that the Department of Children and Family Services “expand efforts to place abused children currently in group homes with a relative foster caregiver.” Read the Grand Jury’s Why is Grandma Worth Less?.

“The clock is ticking. The county has just over three weeks left to act or lose by far the largest chunk of the state’s $30-million fund for relative care for a year. It’s time to opt in.” -Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

Press Round Up

More Information