Dear Speaker Heastie and Leader Stewart-Cousins,
NYS Kinship Care Services Budget Alert
Over 200,000 children currently live with kin, most are not in foster care. In times of crisis, grandparents, relatives, and close family friends step up to raise children when parents lose jobs, become ill, or start abusing substances. The Governor’s proposed budget cut supports for kinship services. Last year, statewide and local supports were funded at $2,559,250. This year, the Governor proposed only $559,250 for the entire state. Our priority is ensuring that kinship program funding is restored!
As you finalize the budget for NYS, please remember to fund kinship supports, ensuring that children have safe, stable homes with family and people they know. Please fully fund Kinship Care Programs at $2,238,750 and the NYS Kinship Navigator at $320,500 and please consider robustly funding these services by adding an additional $2.7 million to local programs and $1 million to the statewide Kinship Navigator.
Now during this COVID-19 pandemic we need to strengthen programs that help families deal with the traumatic consequences when their parents cannot parent. It is not the time to end services.
Carl Heastie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Stewart Cousins: email@example.com