25, No. 2
KinGAP, Guardianship, and the Path to Permanency
When reunification and adoption are not possible, guardianship is an important path to permanency for youth in foster care. Guardianship is most often used when relatives or "family-like" individuals wish to provide a permanent home for the child and maintain the child's relationships with extended family without termination of parental rights (CWIG, 2019).
Of the children and youth in the U.S. who exited foster care to permanency in 2016, 9.5% (n=23,659) did so through guardianship (USDHHS, 2019).
Unfortunately, KinGAP is underutilized. Although numbers have increased slightly, fewer than 30 of the 1,008 North Carolina youth who left foster care through guardianship in SFY 2018-19 received KinGAP benefits (NCDHHS, 2019).
To achieve permanency when reunification and adoption are not possible, North Carolina strongly encourages child welfare staff and their agencies to:
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