In Kentucky, as in many other states, abused and neglected children are saved from the added trauma of placement in foster homes when they are instead placed with family members. But Kentucky does not provide the same resources to these children - and of the few resources that are provided, they a... Read More
In Kentucky, as in many other states, abused and neglected children are saved from the added trauma of placement in foster homes when they are instead placed with family members. But Kentucky does not provide the same resources to these children - and of the few resources that are provided, they are not adequately funded and are not guaranteed. Working grandparents and aunts and uncles need child care assistance, but if there are no funds for child care assistance, that child often must go to foster care. Or if the family is able to keep the child, extreme financial hardship ensues.
Federal law requires that states look first to suitable relatives to place these children. But Kentucky, as well as other states, have developed workarounds so that relatives who need similar supports as foster families are passed over. This results in added unnecessary trauma to children. It also results in a loss of federal funding. Supports to relatives CAN qualify for federal matching funds. But Kentucky would prefer to use intimidation and fear to induce relatives to take these children sans resources, thus relieving the state of financial obligations.
Per the 6th Circuit in D.O. v. Glisson, Kentucky may not discriminate against relative foster families by providing a lower level of resources. Because Kentucky is out of compliance with this 2017 ruling, a class action has been filed on behalf of children who have been denied assistance due to their placement with a relative. One of my grandchildren is a party in the class action. This litigation has the potential to create nationwide change.
At one time, I was told that child care assistance wasn't available. But I appealed, and now, for the moment, we have child care assistance. At one time, social workers told me that my grandchildren would be removed from my home and placed in a foster home if I pursued licensure to qualify for foster care payments. That threat has never been retracted, which proves just how bad our system is. I've become an advocate, helping other grandparents navigate the foster care system. I've been interviewed by local media outlets, and I've been quoted in state-wide newspapers. I make myself available to support groups. If it is within my control, I do not want another family to endure what our family has.
I just finished my first year at Nashville School of Law with a 3.10 GPA. Not bad for a grandmother who works full-time cares for a 6-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl and keeps up their gymnastics schedules as well as therapy sessions.
I managed to pay for the first year, but am not certain I'll be able to swing the next three years. My goal of $10,000 will cover tuition, books, and fees for year two. I PROMISE that your contribution will go to good use because I am one DETERMINED and FIERCE grandma.
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In this photo is an older couple as they were pre-grandchildren. Three years later, the KYs child protective services handed them their two grandbabies. The next five years brought them joy but also frustration due to the broken foster care system. Help Kim become a champion for KY & TN kids.
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