House passes Pashinski bill to establish Kinship Navigator Pilot Program (with video)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State. Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, announced the House today passed his bill that will focus on assisting grandparents raising grandchildren in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 662 would establish a Kinship Navigator Pilot Program in the commonwealth to determine the needs of kinship caregivers and assess the feasibility of establishing a permanent program.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 191,000 children in Pennsylvania are being raised by 80,000 grandparents. Nearly 20 percent of these grandparents raising their grandchildren live in poverty.

Pashinski said many grandparents in his district face challenges raising their grandchildren, including lack of a support network and absence of respite for the caregiver.

“Grandparents often are not prepared financially or emotionally to provide for their grandchildren,” Pashinski said. “When taking on the role of parent, grandparents also often face custody battles that are costly, time-consuming and complicated.

“These grandparents need qualified support and guidance to help them navigate the complexities of the system. It’s time for Pennsylvania to step up and help our grandparents and grandchildren by establishing a Kinship Navigator Pilot that would assist them in finding support they need to keep their family together.”

Pashinski added that at least a dozen states have established similar and successful programs, including neighboring Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.