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Kin caregivers can now become licensed foster care providers in Nevada

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The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced on Friday that Nevada is now one of the first three states in the country to allow kin caregivers to become licensed foster care providers.

The change will allow family members caring for a child to access the same financial resources from the state as traditional foster care providers. Becerra said the change will reduce barriers like the cost of caring for a child and will allow kids to stay with their loved ones.

“If you happen to be a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle, the system traditionally said, ‘Well, you’re family, of course, you’re going to take care of this child who’s in a troubled home.’ Some people could do that. For others, it would be a burden that’s unmanageable, given their income,” Becerra said.

The family member will need to meet safety and licensing requirements such as a background check and suitability assessment.

“What better than to place that child with someone they know, feel comfortable with, have a loving relationship,” Becerra said. “If that’s not made possible because of the financial or regulatory barriers, shame on us.”

According to a 2023 DHHS report, 43% of youth in foster care in Nevada are placed with relatives.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.