Kinship Care is a program to help support a child who lives outside of his or her home with the relative. The child may be living temporarily or for the long term with a relative. Kinship care helps a family support a child in the home of a relative when the child has experienced abuse or neglect. With this support, placing a child in a foster home or another out-of-home care setting may be avoided.
What are the eligibility requirements for kinship care?
- The eligibility and program requirements for Kinship Care are set forth in Chapter DCF 58
- The basic needs of the child can be better met with the relative than with the parent
- The placement is in the best interests of the child
- The child is currently in need of protection or services or might meet the requirements for services if the child were to remain with his or her parent(s).
- The child does not receive supplemental security income (SSI) for their own disability.
- The child’s custodial parent(s) have consented to the child living with the relative caregiver, except that no consent is required if the relative caregiver has guardianship under Chapter 48.9795.
What are the financial benefits for kinship providers?
- The amount of Kinship Care funding to be provided for a child is determined by state statute. For 2022, the Kinship Care rate is $300.00 per child.
- Assigned Child Support for the Kinship Care Program explains the kinship child support payment process.
What are the responsibilities of the kinship provider?
- Complete and return any forms prescribed by the Department.
- Return phone calls from the Kinship Agency.
- Provide information through home visits, interviews, and documentation as necessary.
- Apply for other forms of assistance for which the child may be eligible.
- Cooperate with a referral of the child’s parents to the child support agency, except if a Good Cause Claim is approved.
- The kinship provider(s) will have a positive approach to parenting.
- The kinship provider(s) will not inflict or tolerate infliction of abuse and will not neglect the child.
- The kinship provider(s) will demonstrate interest in integrating the child into the home and be able to manage the stress of doing so.
- The kinship provider(s) have an adequate recognition of the child’s strengths and needs consistent with the child’s age and abilities.
- The kinship provider(s) have the ability and willingness to work with the child’s parents.
- The kinship provider(s) do not have any substantial findings of child abuse or neglect that are likely to adversely affect the child or your ability to care for the child.
- The kinship provider(s) do not have any patterns of criminal behavior, pending charges or convictions that are likely to adversely affect the child or your ability to care for the child.
- There is no minor child living in the home that endanger the safety of another child.
- The physical environment of the home is safe for the child.