Fort Worth Catholic Charities: HB4 encourages positive kinship care for children in foster care

Dana Springer
Director of Child Welfare Services
Catholic Charities Fort Worth

The main goal of foster care is reunification between child and their birth family. Currently, relatives of the child are not the first option for placement. Research by the Health and Human Services Department has shown that children placed in kinship care have less behavioral and mental health issues later in life, can adapt more quickly to their communities, and are less likely to experience multiple transitions resulting in unnecessary trauma.

Kinship care offers children a chance to remain connected to their family, while providing stability and permanency. Currently, kinship caregivers may be eligible for an immediate stipend to care for a child, though there is no monthly reimbursement rate for those families.  In comparison, nonrelated foster families receive a monthly reimbursement rate.  By changing the immediate stipend to a monthly payment more children will be able to remain in kinship care.

This bill promotes transformation in children’s lives, offering them more stability and a better chance at the promising future they deserve. We know the connections children make with their support systems are vital for healthy development and we want to ensure all Texan children have the same opportunity to flourish.