Although there are several potential funding streams to which grandparents and other relatives can turn for financial assistance in raising children, two of the major programs (TANF and foster care) were not designed with relative caregivers in mind. For example, when the TANF program was created in 1996, the rhetoric was about getting able-bodied parents to work, not requiring a retired grandmother to go back to work so that she can receive financial assistance to care for a child she is keeping out of the foster care system.
Similarly, foster care was not designed for grandparents and other relatives raising children. Unlike non-kin foster parents, grandparents and other relatives often have no warning before the children are on their doorstep. While safety concerns are equally important for children living with kin and non-kin, conducting background checks, home studies, training and other licensing requirements can delay access to financial supports for relatives suddenly caring for a child. In addition, as with TANF, foster care is intended to be temporary, not permanent.
We understand what it's like to provide for children that aren't biologically your own. And we can only imagine the resources needed to continue providing during the unprecedented times of a global pandemic. We hope to support families and children to maintain healthy living conditions during this time. What this means to us is being able to provide assistance that ranges from essential items, PPE, clothing, school supplies and/or mini grants!