05/01/2007 - Youths like Raeshonda Montry face overwhelming challenges when they age out of the foster care system without a permanent family to rely upon ("Coming back to a community of strangers," April 22). However, many foster children find a permanent, loving home through legal guardianship by relatives when reunification with their parents or adoption is not feasible.More than one-fourth of Wisconsin's more than 8,500 foster children currently live in the home of a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative. A new study released by Generations United and Kids Are Waiting, "Fix Foster Care Now," reports that children are moved less often and have a stronger connection with their culture and community when in relative foster placements.
Wisconsin recently received a waiver of federal financing regulations so federal foster care funds can support foster children living with relative guardians. But a waiver is only one step in the right direction, and it's a temporary fix. Congress needs to make flexible and reliable federal funding available nationwide, so more children can leave foster care for safe, permanent homes with relative guardians.
More than half a million foster children throughout the country are waiting for the opportunity to have a permanent family that will love nurture, protect and guide them. They have waited long enough.
Read the full article at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Web site.