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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2706

     To establish kinship navigator programs, to establish kinship 
 guardianship assistance payments for children, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 21, 2004

 Mrs. Clinton (for herself, Ms. Snowe, and Mr. Daschle) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                                Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To establish kinship navigator programs, to establish kinship 
 guardianship assistance payments for children, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Kinship Caregiver Support Act''.

                   TITLE I--KINSHIP NAVIGATOR PROGRAM

SEC. 101. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The 2000 decennial census states that--
                    (A) more that 4,500,000 children in the United 
                States are living in grandparent-headed households, a 
                30 percent increase from 1990 to 2000; and
                    (B) an additional 1,500,000 children in the United 
                States are living in households headed by other 
                relatives.
            (2) In the 2000 decennial census, over 2,400,000 
        grandparents reported that they were primarily responsible for 
        meeting the basic needs of their grandchildren, and parents 
        were not present in about \1/3\ of the families involved.
            (3) According to the 2000 decennial census, almost \1/5\ of 
        grandparents responsible for their grandchildren live in 
        poverty.
            (4) Kinship caregivers (as defined in section 103) often 
        face a variety of unnecessary barriers, including difficulties 
        enrolling children in school, authorizing medical treatment, 
        maintaining public housing leases, obtaining affordable legal 
        services, obtaining custody of children or otherwise achieving 
        permanency for children in their care, and accessing a variety 
        of Federal benefits and services.
            (5) Kinship caregivers can help to keep children from 
        entering the foster care system, and provide safe and permanent 
        homes, but need services and supports to do so. They need 
        better access to health insurance, respite care, child care, 
        special education, housing, and other benefits.
            (6) Surveys and research on the needs of kinship caregivers 
        report that one of their greatest challenges in raising 
        children is getting accurate information about--
                    (A) the benefits and services that are available to 
                their families, such as health and mental health care, 
                assistance provided under the program of block grants 
                to States for temporary assistance for needy families 
                established under part A of title IV of the Social 
                Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), kinship or foster 
                care, kinship assistance and adoption assistance, child 
                care and early education, special education, and other 
                services for children with disabilities; and
                    (B) the legal authority, responsibilities, and 
                rights of kinship caregivers.
            (7) Funding for kinship navigator programs can--
                    (A) help kinship care families better use existing 
                programs and services; and
                    (B) increase the capacity of public and private 
                not-for-profit agencies, including community-based and 
                faith-based agencies, and including agencies carrying 
                out related Federal programs, such as the National 
                Family Caregiver Support Program under part E of title 
                III of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3030s 
                et seq.), to better serve the needs of kinship care 
                families.

SEC. 102. PURPOSE.

     The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to establish kinship navigator programs in States, 
        large metropolitan areas, and tribal areas to assist kinship 
        caregivers in navigating their way through programs and 
        services, to help the caregivers learn about and obtain 
        assistance to meet the needs of the children they are raising 
        and their own needs; and
            (2) to promote effective partnerships among public and 
        private not-for-profit agencies, including community-based and 
        faith-based agencies, to help the agencies described in this 
        paragraph more effectively and efficiently serve kinship care 
        families and address the fragmentation that creates barriers to 
meeting the needs of those families.

SEC. 103. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Assistant secretary.--The term ``Assistant Secretary'' 
        means the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the 
        Department of Health and Human Services.
            (2) Kinship care family.--The term ``kinship care family'' 
        means a family with a kinship caregiver.
            (3) Kinship caregiver.--The term ``kinship caregiver'' 
        means a grandparent or stepgrandparent of a child, or a 
        relative of a child by blood, marriage, or adoption, who--
                    (A) lives with the child;
                    (B) is the primary caregiver of the child because 
                the biological or adoptive parent of the child is 
                unable or unwilling to serve as the primary caregiver 
                of the child; and
                    (C) has a legal relationship to the child or is 
                raising the child informally.
            (4) Large metropolitan area.--The term ``large metropolitan 
        area'' means a metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the 
        Bureau of the Census, with a population of not less than 
        1,000,000.
            (5) Metropolitan agency.--The term ``metropolitan agency'' 
        means an agency serving a large metropolitan area, or a county 
        or political subdivision of a large metropolitan area.
            (6) State.--The term ``State'' means any of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands of the 
        United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
            (7) Tribal area.--The term ``tribal area'' means the area 
        served by a tribal organization.
            (8) Tribal organization.--The term ``tribal 
        organization''--
                    (A) means a tribal organization, as defined in 
                section 658P of the Child Care and Development Block 
                Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858n); and
                    (B) includes a consortium of tribal organizations 
                described in subparagraph (A).

SEC. 104. GRANTS.

    (a) In General.--The Assistant Secretary may make grants to 
eligible entities to pay for the Federal share of the cost of carrying 
out kinship navigator programs.
    (b) Eligible Entities.--To be eligible to receive a grant under 
this section, an entity shall be a State agency, metropolitan agency, 
or tribal organization, with experience in--
            (1) addressing the needs of kinship caregivers or children; 
        and
            (2) connecting the children or caregivers with appropriate 
        services and assistance, such as services and assistance 
        provided by--
                    (A) an area agency on aging under the Older 
                Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.); or
                    (B) an agency with jurisdiction over child welfare, 
                income-based financial assistance, human services, or 
                health matters, or a public entity that links family 
                resource and support programs, for the State, large 
                metropolitan area, or Indian tribe involved.
    (c) Allocation of Grants.--Of the funds made available for grants 
under this section for each fiscal year, the Assistant Secretary shall 
use not less than 50 percent to make grants to State agencies.
    (d) Duration of the Grants.--In making the grants, the Assistant 
Secretary shall make grants--
            (1) in fiscal year 2005, for periods of 3 years;
            (2) in fiscal year 2006, for periods of 2 years; and
            (3) in fiscal year 2007, for periods of 1 year.

SEC. 105. FEDERAL SHARE.

    (a) In General.--The Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
kinship navigator program under a grant shall be--
            (1) 100 percent in the first year of the grant period;
            (2) 75 percent in the second year (if any) of the grant 
        period; and
            (3) 50 percent in the third year (if any) of the grant 
        period.
    (b) Non-Federal Share.--The non-Federal share of the cost may be 
provided in cash. Not more than 50 percent of the non-Federal share of 
the cost may be provided in kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, 
equipment, or services.

SEC. 106. APPLICATIONS.

    (a) In General.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
title, an entity shall submit an application to the Assistant Secretary 
at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the 
Assistant Secretary may require, including, at a minimum, the 
information described in subsection (b).
    (b) Contents.--The application shall include the following:
            (1) A description of the steps the entity will take during 
        the first 6 months of the grant period to--
                    (A) identify gaps in services for kinship care 
                families in the State, large metropolitan area, or 
                tribal area to be served and the specific activities 
                that are needed to bridge the gaps;
                    (B) convene a group of partners to assist in the 
                operation of the kinship navigator program funded 
                through the grant;
                    (C) utilize or develop relevant technology;
                    (D) conduct outreach to kinship caregivers about 
                the kinship navigator program; and
                    (E) develop a plan for reaching kinship caregivers, 
                ensuring that the caregivers can access the kinship 
                navigator program, and following up to ensure that the 
                caregivers actually receive necessary services and 
                supports.
            (2) An assurance that the entity will provide at least the 
        core activities specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 
107(b) for kinship care families through the kinship navigator program.
            (3) A description of the activities the entity expects to 
        offer over the grant period and the entity's initial projection 
        of the number of children and kinship caregivers likely to be 
        served.
            (4) A description of how the entity will involve in the 
        planning and operation of the kinship navigator program, on an 
        ongoing basis--
                    (A) kinship caregivers;
                    (B) youth raised or being raised by kinship 
                caregivers;
                    (C) representatives of kinship care support 
                organizations;
                    (D) relevant government agencies (including 
                agencies with jurisdiction over matters relating to 
                aging, mental health, mental retardation or 
                developmental disabilities, substance abuse treatment, 
                health, youth services, human services, education, 
                income-based financial assistance, child welfare, child 
                custody, guardianship, adoption, or child support 
                enforcement);
                    (E)(i) not-for-profit service providers, including 
                community-based and faith-based agencies; and
                    (ii) educational institutions; and
                    (F) other State or local agencies or systems that 
                promote service coordination or provide information and 
                referral services, including the entities that provide 
                the 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 information systems where 
                applicable.
            (5) A description of--
                    (A) how the entity will coordinate its activities 
                with other State or local agencies or systems that 
                promote service coordination or provide information and 
                referral services for children, families, or older 
                individuals, including the entities that provide the 2-
                1-1 or 3-1-1 information systems where applicable, so 
                as to avoid duplication of services and the 
                fragmentation of services that prevents kinship care 
                families from getting the help the families need; and
                    (B) how the entity will encourage regional 
                cooperation among agencies, particularly agencies 
                serving border communities that may cross 
                jurisdictional lines, to ensure that kinship care 
                families will get help.
            (6) An assurance that the entity will report at least 
        annually to the Assistant Secretary, in a manner prescribed by 
        the Assistant Secretary, to ensure comparability of data across 
        States, on--
                    (A) activities established with the funds made 
                available through grants made under this title;
                    (B) the numbers and ages of the children and 
                caregivers assisted through the grants;
                    (C) the types of the assistance provided;
                    (D) the outcomes achieved with the assistance; and
                    (E) the barriers identified to meeting the needs of 
                kinship care families and plans for addressing the 
                barriers.
            (7) An assurance that the entity, not later than 3 months 
        after the end of the final year of the grant period, will 
        submit a final report to the Administration for Children and 
        Families that describes--
                    (A) the numbers and ages of the children and 
                caregivers assisted through the grants;
                    (B) the types of assistance provided;
                    (C) the outcomes achieved with the assistance;
                    (D) the barriers to meeting the needs of kinship 
                care families that were addressed through the grants;
                    (E) the plans of the entity to continue the kinship 
                navigator program after the grant period has ended;
                    (F) lessons learned during the grant period; and
                    (G) recommendations about the considerations that 
                should be taken into account as the program carried out 
                under this title is expanded throughout the Nation.
    (c) Preference.--In awarding grants under this title, the Assistant 
Secretary shall give preference to agencies or organizations that can 
demonstrate that the agencies and organizations will offer the full 

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