Kinship Caregiver Law Project

MFY prevents foster care placements and keeps children with relatives.

The Kinship Caregiver Law Project helps to provide legal stability to hundreds of families each year through representation in custody, guardianship and adoption matters, access to public benefits, and in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. The Project also represents caregivers in Family Court and administrative proceedings aimed at preventing a child’s entry into the traditional foster care system.

In New York City, approximately 200,000 children are being raised by grandparents, other relatives and friends because their biological parents are unable or unwilling to care for them. By formalizing these relationships, MFY’s Kinship Caregiver Law Project promotes children’s wellbeing and helps to secure additional supports for caregivers, all of which prevents children from entering the foster care system. In addition to handling custody, guardianship, and visitation cases, Project attorneys train private pro bono lawyers from well-established law firms and corporations to provide assistance in adoption proceedings. Project attorneys provide advice and counsel to caregivers who call the Project’s hotline and meet directly with caregivers at regularly held clinics at Family Court in the Bronx and at community-based organizations.

The Kinship Caregiver Law Project advocates for policies and programs that improve the lives of kinship caregiving families, providing leadership to the New York City Kincare Task Force (PDF) and the New York State Kincare Coalition and testifying before city and state legislative committees.

The Kinship Caregiver Law Project receives generous support from the New York Community Trust, the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, and Greenberg Traurig LLP.

map