Kinship caregivers in diversion arrangements and approved kinship caregivers do not receive the same access to services as licensed caregivers (non-kin or kin) and there are limited supports for kinship permanency options. Concern from the community has prompted a sense of urgency to provide a greater layer of support for kinship families.
D.O. v Glisson (2017) is a federal ruling that ordered equality in kinship and foster caregiver payments applied to Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio, the four states overseen by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Since the ruling, Ohio has not come into compliance. As a result, a federal lawsuit was filed Nov. 19 to boost support payments for kinship providers.
The issue of parity has become more prominent in recent years due to the opioid crisis, and the economic pressures of the coronavirus pandemic have only made things worse, the lawsuit said. The gap in payments also disproportionately affects Black relatives caring for children because while Black people represent about 12% of the Ohio population, Black children make up 24% of those placed with relatives, the lawsuit said.
Earlier this year, we released a kinship report and accompanying 1-page kinship vision addressing the need for increased payments, resources, and training.