In this second edition of the annual State of Grandfamilies in America report, Generations United identified key State laws and policies specifically designed to address barriers and better support the diverse and unique population of grandparents and other relatives raising children. All 50 States and the District of Columbia were evaluated based on the availability of these laws and policies. To identify States with the most promising laws and policies to support grandfamilies, Generations United used the following criteria: percentage of children in foster care who are placed with relatives, education and health care consent laws, de facto custody laws, policies that eliminate barriers to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and opt-ins to the following federal programs: National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), Guardian Assistance Program (GAP), and Lifespan Respite. The States were then given an overall rating based on point values for each law and policy. Findings indicate: the top 10 States with grandfamily-friendly laws and policies are California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana,Montana,NewJersey,Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington; only four States secured a passing grade (above 60%); all States had at least one grandfamily-friendly law or policy; no State scored 100% and had all of the laws and policies; almost 65% of children in grandfamilies live in States with 50% or less of the laws and policies; compared to previous years, ,on average States are doing a better job placing children with relatives when they must enter foster care; nationally the number of children placed with relatives when they are in foster care increased from24% in 2008 to 28% in 2013; and 10 States have increased this number by at least 10%: Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Wyoming. Policy recommendations are made. 34 references.
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The State of Grandfamilies in America: 2015.