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Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Strengthening Supports for Relative Foster Families

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation making fixes to the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (or KinGAP) that will make more kids and families eligible for the program. The legislation unanimously passed the legislature in June, championed by Senator Avella and Assemblymember Hevesi.

The new law will:

  • Ensure that sibling groups, including half siblings, stay together by enabling a relative who is related to one child, but not to another, to be eligible for KinGAP for the entire sibling group.
  • Allowing the KinGAP subsidy to continue to age 21, thereby aligning it with foster care.
  • Making “fictive kin,” such as godparents or close family friends, eligible for KinGAP.

Each of these provisions better aligns KinGAP with related foster care provisions and will help more families leave foster care for a stable, permanent living arrangement.

The Schuyler Center has, for several years, advocated for these changes. We have worked with our partners – fellow advocates, providers, legislators – to advance this legislation and work to ensure that NY’s policies (like this one) work for the children and families they are meant to serve.

Assemblymember Hevesi and Senator Avella were joined by advocates in August in support of KinGAP.