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AARP New York Report on Barriers to Successful Kin Caregiving of Children

Kin caregivers, such as grandparents, experience myriad problems and barriers as they attempt to raise minor children. Numerous social policies, public benefit regulations, and laws exist in New York State that significantly limit these caregivers' access to services and provide insufficient rights and authority.

This mail survey of 43 agencies in New York that provide services to kin caregivers was conducted to identify key obstacles to services and to develop an agenda for redressing these barriers and expanding access. It found that a constellation of changes must be pursued to improve kin caregivers' access to financial, health, educational, legal and child welfare systems for minor children in their care.

Among the problems in need of remedies are:

  • Kin caregivers' lacking information about the availability of a spectrum of services

  • Total lack of – or limited – legal authority for kin caregivers to make informed decisions which is further reinforced by their general lack of access to core records

  • Administrative and policy restrictions limiting the ability of kin caregivers to access non-governmental systems such as health care

  • Inability of kin caregivers to obtain coverage for minor children in their care under existing private family insurance plans

The survey was conducted between July 16 and September 3, 2004. The report was prepared by Anita M. Stowell-Ritter of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202-434-6205 for further information. (59 pages)

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