TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A kinship caregiver is when a relative becomes the primary caregiver for their family member's children. In our state, they receive a payment much less than regular foster families. According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, kinship caregivers get around $75 per month, per child.
For Rosemarie Deiperine, that wasn't enough when she started to take care of her three grandchildren. She said the last year and half was a struggle as she focused on giving her grandkids a new life.
“I didn’t expect that like I didn’t expect that he would leave and not raise his own children," Deiperine said. "I quit my job and I was supposed to take my RN license.”
Soon, she will officially be "mom" again once the adoption process is completed.
“I said on thanksgiving I don’t want any material things, I just want my three grandkids to be free from the DCS and from mom and dad and I could focus on giving them healing." she said.
She said it's difficult to stay afloat with the $75 per month that kinship caregivers receive.
"With only 100 per kid," she said. "How do you survive?"
In Governor Doug Ducey's recent State of the State Address, he says kinship caregivers will soon receive the same amount as foster parents. To help, local GAP Ministries gives kinships an $80 voucher to go shopping in their warehouse store, packed with donations from local stores like Walmart.
“But they aren’t prepared, they might not have the beds for the kids, clothes for the kids when they are coming but they are taking the kids in," Heather Cervantez, GAP's foster parent training specialist, said. "So they are really taking these kids in because they love them."
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