Executive Director Susannah Barnes Testifies on SF 1639 Kinship Caregiving in front of the MN State Senate.

Team Kinship - March

EVOLVE Family Services was at the MN State Capitol to speak about Hearing SF 1639 Kinship Caregiving.

At EVOLVE, over 65% of our Kinship Caregivers are BIPOC, this disproportionate representation of children and families of color underscores an even greater importance in keeping children within their family systems and culture. When the call for grandparents, aunts, uncles have opened their homes, with no time to prepare emotionally or financially. Kinship Families need responsive care and specialized support to meet state standards while caring for the children in their home.

Foster care licensing involves significant paperwork, background checks, trainings, home preparation, and an invasive assessment process. We have found that supporting kinship families through licensing takes more than double the time of working with non-relative families.

We provide specialized training on the unique dynamics of shifting roles from that of grandma, etc., to that of a trauma-informed parental caregiving role. We provide support in navigating dynamics within the larger family system, with focus on reunification and healing relationships.

Some relatives are even actively dissuaded, being told they have barriers, when these are often issues that can be overcome with support. Without support, families may feel the process is insurmountable and give up.

SF 1639 builds statewide capacity to support kinship caregivers by giving them experienced partners to help navigate complex systems, break down barriers and meet strict safety standards so that THEIR focus can be concentrated on nurturing the children in their care.

Thank you Senator Kunesh for your leadership as an author of this bill. Contact your state representatives to help get this bill passed!

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