The Census Bureau estimates that almost four percent of the nation’s children under 18 live in a household headed by someone other than a parent. An overwhelming majority of these children live with a relative in what is referred to as “kinship care” arrangements in which caregiving is provided by relatives in the absence of a parent and is an alternative to foster care placement where children live in family‐based alternatives to parental care. Definitions vary by state, but the caregiver relative is usually an adult who is related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption. Generally, preference is given to the child’s grandparents, followed by aunts, uncles, adult siblings, and cousins.

It is estimated that as many as four percent (or around 2.6 million) children meet the definition of kinship care, i.e., they live in households headed by a non‐parent relative. Kinship care affects both sides of the foster care equation—it reduces the number of children entering the foster care system and provides placement for those already in the system. Funding for formal kinship care comes from a mix of federal, state, and local sources, including:

  • Federal Title IV‐E funds
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) child‐only grants
  • Kinship guardianship assistance
  • Kinship support service programs
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security

It is estimated that as many as 45-78% of these children need behavioral health services. While children in kinship care arrangements are often eligible for services and programs, their uptake is low compared to other social programs. Only about 20% of relatives caring for children in informal arrangements reported receiving cash assistance. Reasons for this relatively low uptake rates are influenced by:

  • Awareness of eligibility for assistance
  • Reluctance to receive public assistance
  • Difficulty in providing the necessary documentation verifying their relationship with the child
  • Reluctance to provide required information about the child’s parents (often the caregiver’s son or daughter) to help the state collect child support

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COVID-19 Risk Management Plan August 11, 2021

We are excited to return to sunny southern California for The 2021 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute at the picturesque Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, August 23-26, 2021. To help plan your in-person attendance, visit for a schedule of events happening throughout the week.

The resurgence of the COVID Delta variant has certainly created new challenges for the country and for our families. Fortunately, the available COVID vaccinations have been very successful in preventing symptomatic infections and illness. But I did want to let you know that our team at OPEN MINDS is committed to making our executive events as safe as possible and have an active risk management plan in place. I wanted to share with you the key elements of our plan:

  • Masking. Every participant will receive a mask as part of their registration materials. Unvaccinated people will be required to wear masks – and vaccinated attendees will be encouraged to wear masks. If the local or state governments have more restrictive standards (including mandatory masking or requiring proof of vaccination) at the time of our institutes, we will follow those standards.
  • Social Distancing. We are working with the event venue to hold all sessions in the largest possible rooms with seating as far apart as possible. In order to accomplish this, we ask that you select in advance the sessions you plan to attend in-person at the event venue. This will assist us with room and seating arrangements.
  • Outdoor Events. Where possible, we will use outdoor spaces for networking events and smaller sessions.
  • Hand Sanitation. Hand sanitation stations are available throughout the event venue and hand sanitizer is included in your registration materials, courtesy of our partner, Qualifacts+Credible.
  • Virtual Sessions. Every session will be partially or fully available in a virtual capacity:
    • We are livestreaming via GoToWebinar our plenary sessions – keynote addresses and plenary panels. You can participate online from your hotel room (or from your home office if you can’t attend on-site). We will be accepting questions from both the onsite and online audiences.
    • Each executive seminar is being offered at two separate times, one live at the event venue and the other exclusively for virtual attendees.
    • We are recording the audio for each session – and will post the audio along with presentation materials after each session.
    • A virtual exhibit hall will be available with access to all exhibitor contact information, product demos, and engagement opportunities.

We will continue to monitor any changes in the CDC recommendations for the continued safety of the public. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to reach out to a member of our team at or by phone at 877-350-6463. We look forward to seeing you at The 2021 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute.

Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer

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