LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Kinship foster parents are caregivers who are parenting their relatives’ children.

New changes within our state could help get more kinship parents licensed, helping to keep foster kids in safe and comfortable homes long-term, which is the desirable thing to do when a child is placed into foster care.

“Make sure they are able to grow up in a home that is not only safe but stable,” said kinship caregiver Cindy Tarrant. “I think it is encouraging for their long-term health.”

Tarrant started her foster parent journey 14 years ago.

“It has been wonderful. I mean, we have a lot of children in our home, so it is busy all the time,” said Tarrant.

She said caregivers like herself run into many barriers when it comes to getting a license, which is needed to receive financial support.

“We didn’t have any spare bedrooms, so there were a lot of things that we had to do just to be able to take him, and so it is problems like that, that kinship families struggle with,” said Tarrant.

“So you could imagine taking in one, two, three, five children and then being asked to do training,” said executive director for foster kinship Ali Caliendo. “The home study, go get a TB test, a physical, show us your rabies vaccination for your pets, it can become pretty burdensome, and so families can get frustrated.”

But now changes are being made to help reduce some of these barriers.

“They are allowing states to have separate licensing standards for relatives, different from our traditional foster parents,” said Caliendo.

This means that Nevada could decide to drop things like a TB test or the rabies vaccination, things that kinship caregivers feel are not really related to the safety of the child.

“If families have less barriers to jump through, less hoops to jump through, then they can get there faster,” said Tarrant.

Foster Kinship, a resource center for kinship families, surveyed local caregivers to see what would be most helpful to remove to get licensed.

“We were really impressed that our caregivers were sort of in line with the same things we thought were unnecessary, but they still agree that a lot of things are necessary,” said Caliendo. “Like training, CPR and car seat class, but agree that things like the physical and TB can be dropped.”

As of now, there is no timeline of when the changes will go into effect in the state of Nevada, but Foster Kinship says they are working closely with the state, the Department of Family Services and caregivers to get it done as soon as possible.

Click HERE to learn more about a licensed kinship caregiver or becoming a foster parent.


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