Kinship care and suitable persons are at the heart of keeping children and youth connected to their families and community. The passage of Senate Bill 5151: Child-Specific Licensing has created an opportunity to keep children and youth with their own families and in their own culture.
Generally, the bill allows DCYF to issue a child-specific license to a relative or suitable person. That relative or person becomes licensed for the placement of a specific child and that child’s siblings in DCYF’s care, custody, and control. Family members and suitable persons must meet minimum qualifications of child-specific licensing requirements to do this.
DCYF is having initial discussions and presentations with stakeholders. In early fall, the agency will have workshops with volunteers to develop child-specific license criteria. Once the license is developed, staff will present it to DCYF executive leadership for feedback. Feedback will then be discussed with workshop participants and stakeholders.
DCYF looks forward to collaborating with groups of stakeholders to develop the child-specific license, including:
- The Kinship Care Oversight Committee (KCOC)
- An organization that represents our current and former foster youth
- An organization that represents Community Parenting Alternatives (CPAs)
- An advisory group of foster youth and alumni
- Tribal consultation
DCYF has begun the process of presenting to stakeholders and asking members to participate in the workgroup. To date, the agency has presented to KCOC and Tribal Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC). We will continue reaching out to other stakeholder groups to schedule meetings.