SENATE RESOLUTION 637--DESIGNATING SEPTEMBER 2018 AS ``NATIONAL KINSHIP CARE MONTH''; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 155
(Senate - September 18, 2018)

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[Pages S6234-S6235]
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SENATE RESOLUTION 637--DESIGNATING SEPTEMBER 2018 AS ``NATIONAL KINSHIP 
                              CARE MONTH''

  Mr. WYDEN (for himself, Mr. Hatch, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Grassley, Ms. 
Heitkamp, Mr. Daines, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Jones, Mr. 
Brown, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Kaine, Mr. King, Mr. Casey, and Mr. Schumer) 
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee 
on the Judiciary:

                              S. Res. 637

       Whereas, in September 2018, ``National Kinship Care Month'' 
     is observed;
       Whereas, nationally, 2,700,000 children are living in 
     kinship care with grandparents or other relatives;
       Whereas, nationally, 140,000 children in foster care are 
     placed with grandparents or other relatives, with more than 
     2,560,000 kinship children supported outside of the foster 
     care system;
       Whereas the percentage of kinship foster children has 
     increased more than 11 percent since 2006;
       Whereas the number of non-relative foster parents continues 
     to decrease and child welfare agencies are increasingly 
     reliant on kinship families;
       Whereas children in kinship care experience improved 
     placement stability, higher levels of permanency, and 
     decreased behavioral problems;
       Whereas kinship caregivers provide safety, promote well-
     being, and establish stable households for vulnerable 
     children;
       Whereas grandparents and relatives residing in urban, 
     rural, and suburban households in every State and territory 
     of the United States have stepped forward out of love and 
     loyalty to care for children during times in which parents 
     are unable to do so;
       Whereas many kinship caregivers give up their retirement 
     years to assume parenting duties for children;
       Whereas grandparents and other relatives are increasingly 
     providing caring homes for children because of the opioid 
     crisis;
       Whereas, because of parental substance use disorders and 
     other adverse childhood experiences, children in kinship care 
     frequently have trauma-related conditions;
       Whereas kinship care homes offer a refuge for traumatized 
     children;
       Whereas kinship care enables a child--

[[Page S6235]]

       (1) to maintain family relationships and cultural heritage; 
     and
       (2) to remain in the community of the child;
       Whereas kinship care is a national resource that provides 
     loving homes for children at risk;
       Whereas the wisdom and compassion of kinship caregivers is 
     a source of self-reliance and strength for countless children 
     and for the entire United States;
       Whereas kinship caregivers face daunting challenges to keep 
     children from entering foster care;
       Whereas the Senate is proud to recognize the many kinship 
     care families in which a child is raised by grandparents or 
     other relatives;
       Whereas the first president of the United States, George 
     Washington, and his wife Martha were themselves kinship 
     caregivers, as were many other great people of the United 
     States;
       Whereas the Senate wishes to honor the many kinship 
     caregivers, who throughout the history of the United States 
     have provided loving homes for children;
       Whereas National Kinship Care Month provides an opportunity 
     to urge people in every State to join in recognizing and 
     celebrating kinship caregiving families and the tradition of 
     families in the United States to help kin;
       Whereas, in 2018, Congress provided for kinship navigator 
     programs and services in the Family First Prevention Services 
     Act enacted under title VII of division E of the Bipartisan 
     Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123; 132 Stat. 64) and the 
     Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141; 
     132 Stat. 348);
       Whereas, in 2018, Congress provided for the formation of 
     the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising 
     Grandchildren to examine supports for grandparents and other 
     kinship caregivers in the Supporting Grandparents Raising 
     Grandchildren Act (Public Law 115-196; 132 Stat. 1511); and
       Whereas more remains to be done to support kinship 
     caregiving and to ensure that all children have a safe, 
     loving, nurturing, and permanent family, regardless of age or 
     special needs: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates September 2018 as ``National Kinship Care 
     Month'';
       (2) encourages Congress, States, local governments, and 
     community organizations to continue to work to improve the 
     lives of vulnerable children and families and to support the 
     communities working together to lift them up; and
       (3) honors the commitment and dedication of kinship 
     caregivers and the advocates and allies who work tirelessly 
     to provide assistance and services to kinship caregiving 
     families.

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