Governor Doug Ducey Signs Legislation To Protect Foster Children And Eliminate The Grandmother Penalty

News Release

May 11, 2016

PHOENIX - Governor Doug Ducey has signed two bills to protect Arizona foster children and their caregivers, including the elimination of the Grandmother Penalty.

HB 2452 lifts Arizona’s current TANF Capped Kids policy – referred to as the “Grandmother Penalty” in the governor’s State of the State address in January – and ensures kids and caregivers have the resources they need in the absence of parents.  HB 2260 makes significant reforms to improve foster care and adoption policies.

“We should be making it easier – not harder – for relatives to step in and care for a child when a parent has failed to properly do so,” said Governor Ducey. "Removing the Grandmother Penalty ensures that kids are not punished for the failings of their parents, and that relatives have the resources they need to take on the role of caretaker. A grandparent should never be forced to choose between taking in the child they love and turning them over to the state. This measure ensures that’s not a decision they’ll have to make. I am grateful to Rep. Jeff Weninger for his commitment to standing up for Arizona kids and families.”

"There are nearly 19,000 foster children currently under state care in Arizona. Every one of them deserves a home in which they are safe, clothed, fed and most importantly, loved,” said Governor Ducey. "I’ve been clear that we must do all that we can to see more adoptions, foster parents, and more permanency for our most vulnerable children. These reforms, championed by Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, make significant improvements to foster care training and licensing, and reduce time to permanency to ensure that when a child finds a loving home, they have the opportunity to stay there.”