HARRISBURG – A package of bills offering support to grandparents and kin caregivers raising young relatives in PA is getting a boost by grandparents’ rights advocates and some PA House Democrats. Dauphin County Rep. Patty Kim says grandparents or other relatives are the primary caregivers for an estimated 260,000 children in the state. Kim’s House Bill 1688 would establish a grant program to allow Area Agencies on Aging to assist where grandparents need short-term emergency help to address the personal care needs of a grandchild living with them. House Bill 931 would create “The Kinship Care Legal Assistance Grant Program,” which would award funds to eligible non-profits providing civil legal services to help kinship families obtain custody, adoption or power of attorney for the child’s medical and educational care or establish legal standing with the child to make daily care giving decisions. House Bill 1058 would help children live with relatives by requiring the courts to seek and consider the opinions of those who are engaged with the family before and during the child custody proceedings. House Bill 668 would make kinship caregivers eligible for the Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program so that grandparents and the grandchildren they care for, who struggle financially, obtain a quality education for their children.

REP. PATTY KIM