When children cannot remain safely with their parents, grandparents, other relatives, and close family friends often step up to help raise them. There have been a lot of changes over the last few months in Kentucky around services and supports related to relatives and close family friends raising children, also known as kinship care and fictive kin care.
To learn more, check out the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ new KY FACES website.
If you recently began caring for a child as a result of Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) intervention, click here for additional information related to services and supports that may be available to you.
Here are the biggest recent changes:
- A new option for relative foster care
- Expanded services for relative and fictive kin caregivers
A New Option for Relative Foster Care
On April 1, 2019, DCBS began a new foster care type called a Child Specific Foster Home, which gives new relative and fictive kin caregivers the option to pursue approval as a foster parent. Important details of note:
- The new approval type reduces requirements for relative and fictive kin caregivers to become licensed foster parents.
- If the caregiver chooses foster parenting, the child must come into DCBS custody from the home of removal.
- If the family is pursuing foster parenting and the child is in DCBS custody, the caregiver is eligible for a $6.00 per diem with the appropriate paperwork.
- If the relative/fictive kin caregiver chooses to pursue becoming a foster parent, DCBS staff will explain the different requirements and fostering options of either of a Child Specific Foster Home or a DCBS Basic Foster Home to the relative/fictive kin caregiver.
- The $6.00 per diem will continue until the relative/fictive kin caregiver is approved as a foster home, at which time the per diem will increase based on their approval type.
(Source: DCBS SOPs—Relative/Fictive Kin Service Array Tip Sheet)
Expanded Services for Relative and Fictive Kin Caregivers
This service array, as DCBS calls it, includes a comprehensive list of services and supports available to caregivers. It also offers them a choice about what kind of caregiver they want to be classified as, which impacts the types of assistance they can receive.
Under the new service plan, as soon as DCBS caseworkers connect with a relative or fictive kin caregiver, they will share all custodial options, related services, and permanency options for the family. Caregivers will make their selections from the menu of options based on their own preferences and the known and anticipated needs of the child. This service menu is responsive to all families and incorporates services and benefit programs, including:
- Cash assistance
- Medicaid/health insurance
- Respite care
- Child care
- Foster care
- Placement supports, and
- Post-permanency supports.
Relative and kin caregivers who do not want any of the “strings” that come along with public funds and do not seek government intrusion any further in their lives can choose not to select assistance. Conversely, relative and fictive kin caregivers can choose to become a foster parent, as explained above, if that option best meets their preferences and the child’s actual or anticipated needs.
If you have questions about this information, please contact DCBS at (877) 565-5608 or via e-mail email@example.com.
Learn more about kinship care in Kentucky in this infographic.
We have custody of our neice and nephew for almost 8 years now dcbs tells us we gulify for nothing cause thwy decided yeara to give us full custody we did gwt kindahip care but we was late on some paperwork rhey cut us off rhis is wrong we did state a good thing and they treat us like this we have lost house to foreclosure stuggling to pay the bills wife cant work fulltime cause daycare is more than she can make we do get 225 a month in ktap but only cause the mom pays that in child support we did a good thing provided a good home and love and support for these two childern on limited resources but if state had it would cost foster care money and everything else people get for taking in childern can somebody please tell us what kind help we can get to keep providing for these childern
Thank you for stepping up to take care of your niece and nephew when they needed you. We suggest contacting the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Kinship Support Hotline at 877-565-5608 or email DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov to see what services your family may be eligible for based on your circumstances. This is also another great resource with information on supports for kinship caregivers in Kentucky: https://www.grandfamilyguide.org/
I completed understand where you are coming from. I am raising my two grandsons and I too don’t qualify for kinship care. My understanding is due to some loophole. I’m on a fixed income . I can understand the situation but it’s not fair to these boys.. I don’t believe the program is being used as was intended.
I have had my 3 Grandsons for 5 years. I was told I didn’t qualify for kinship care because DCBS or court didn’t remove them from the home, but who did because I didn’t, lol. It is absolutely horrible that the system would rather pay strangers to take care of the kids then family. I don’t understand how this is a smart, logical or common sense decision.
My name is Dr. Whittney H. Darnell, and I am an Assistant Professor of Communication at Northern Kentucky University. I am leading a research team exploring the unique experiences of Kinship caregivers.
We want to better understand the unique challenges and risks kinship caregivers face when providing care for a child or children.
The purpose of this study is to better understand how to meet the needs of Kentucky’s growing population of Kinship caregivers and the children they care for.
This study includes the completion of a short survey and a phone or virtual interview. Participants will be paid in the form of a $15 Amazon gift card.
Eligible participants for this study will include kinship caregivers (grandparents, siblings, relatives, or close family associates), in Kentucky, who are at least 18 years old and currently provide care for the child
or children of a parent or parents who suffer a substance abuse disorder.
All data collected for this study will be kept confidential. Participants will not be required to provide their names or any other identifying information on the survey. If you know someone who may be interested
in participating, or if you have questions, or would like to learn more about this study, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stories from everyday Kinship caregivers across the state of Kentucky are essential to our success. Please share broadly.
I want you to know that this research study is a true labor of love for my research team and a cause that Northern Kentucky University’s Institute of Health Innovations is committed to understanding.
Thank you for helping considering this research study.
Dr. Whittney H. Darnell
We were told the same thing that we didn’t qualify for kinship care because we took our grandchildren right away. One came home with us straight from hospital. I don’t understand either why if grandparents step up right away and take the kids we get nothing but be a foster parent and you get paid?.. we have had our 5 yr old since she was six months when my daughter left her at our house and the 3 yr old we brought home from hospital.
Im in the same boat. Daughter overdosed in a UDF bathroom with my grandsons with her. One grandson had a different father, who he called. There police released the other two to him as well. Who brought them to me the grandmother. Then DCBS knocks on my door thre very next day; to open a case because of reports. It was all over the news. Poor boys edith other kids at school and parents talking. My oldest had a hard time with that. But to the subject at hand told me there weren’t put into there custody that I took them out of the kindness of my heart. Which I wouldnt even care, it’s money. But I was put on a fixed income a few months prior to getting them. There mother didn’t live without anything. They deserve nice clothes, being able to participate in sports, a tuition to college that kinship supplies to children in foster care. I could go on and on, in due you get my point. These children just don’t deserve a life of property or to be treated different because they were lucky enough to have a family member that lived and cared to take them in, instafeet of strangers.
My name is Kristiane. My husband and I are trying to get my great niece and nephew from CPS in Kentucky. We are already licensed foster parents in the state of Washington. We are being told that it will take 3 to 4 months to get them to us. I don’t know what to do to push it forward faster. They are bonding with the foster parents in KY right now and it’s been about a month and a half. Can any of you help me?
Hi Krishiane – thanks for your comment and for stepping up to care for our most vulnerable, including your great niece and nephew. Please contact Shannon Moody with Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky for further assistance — her email is email@example.com.
Hello my name is Dawn, I am of no relation to the children. Mason is 7 years old, and Bentley is 5 years old. I’ve been with their grandpa Steve, for over 11 years. On April 20, 2021. We received a phone call from Steve’s daughter Jordin. That Pinella County sheriff, was at her door. Basically coming to take the boy’s away. They live in St. Petersburg Florida. Steve, and I live in Alexandria Kentucky. Over a 13 Hour drive. We could not find any last minute flights. Then we find out, there is a shelter hearing Wednesday, April 21 at 8:30 AM. Now we’re off to Florida. All I could think about was the boys being so scared. Living with strangers. Etc. We didn’t make it to Saint Petersburg until 9:30 AM. However we did zoom in to the court hearing. Letting everybody there know that. We would be more than happy to watch over the boys. Unfortunately, Jordin wasn’t there. Difficulties with the zoom. Which was an honest mistake. Mason, and Bentley, we’re taken away 93 days ago. We hired a Florida lawyer, which I feel is pretty useless. We’ve been able to talk to the boys. Several times. Only because we brought Jordin back to Kentucky with us. All we would like is to have the boys with the family. Both boys, were born in Kentucky. Most of the relatives are from Kentucky, or the tri-state area. “ Cincinnati area “We have talked to Ray, who is an ICPC employee. Ray has done a background check on Steve. Everything came back good. So Ray sent the ICPC paperwork off for the judge to sign. That was a month ago. Jordin‘s case manager Thomas called, wanting everybody’s S S numbers, birthdates, etc. that live in our house hold. When Steve called the case manager back. He didn’t want to talk to Steve. He said he could only talk with Jordin. Which we’re not about to give her all of our personal information. To someone that we’ve never met, or talk to. Steve informed the caseworker Thomas that he has had a background check done through Ray. I personally feel that Pinella County, will never give us the boys. Several different Floridians, told us that it’s all about Florida making money off the foster care system. We don’t want foster care money. All we want is for the boys, to be safe with a family members. I was wondering if Steve, and I should get licensed for foster care in Kentucky. What else can we do to get the boys with family members
If you have started the ICPC paperwork, you are on track. You will need to be in communication with Jordin and the boys caseworker to ask about becoming foster parents. It is up to Florida to decide whether or not that’s the right move. ICPCs can take up to 6 months or more, depending on the court in Florida and the communication to Kentucky courts. If it gets transferred to Kentucky, you can reach out to the ICPC coordinator. Please contact Shannon Moody at Kentucky Youth Advocates for any additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Shawnee. I have had my great niece and nephew for over a year and a half. We have been trying to get custody of them for over a year and CPS keeps getting our temporary custody hearing rescheduled. We have a court date this month but I am afraid they are going to do it again. We have an attorney but we have no one to advocate for these children. I have raised my great nephew most of his life. He is 3 and only lived with his parents about 10 months of his life. I don’t know what to do and it is financially strapping us because we aren’t getting help from anyone.
Thank you for stepping up to care for your great niece and nephew. If you are unable to get ahold of your social worker, we suggest reaching out to the children’s Guardian Ad Litem. If you don’t have their number, we suggest contacting the Courts to get the contact information from them.
I got a call from Tennessee saying my great niece was in A mental hospital. I was asked if she could come and live with me. I said yes them received s call from a social worker named Brittany. She told mr I needed to go get guardianship papers from the court I did that on s Wednesday and went and got her on Friday Do I qualify for this kinship program so far I haven’t gotten anything but a medical card that I won’t receive till this month of November
Thank you for stepping up to care for your great niece. We suggest calling the Kinship support hotline at (877) 565-5608 or via e-mail email@example.com. We also suggest that you reach out to the case manager on the child’s insurance cards–the phone number should be on the back of the card.
We don’t qualify for anything either because my daughter gave up her baby!! it didn’t have to suffer the system…she simply didn’t want her…so I raised her from birth and adopted her as soon as I was able to she is 4 now I adopted her before she turned 2!! I never got any child support from either parent…I’m disabled and have kids of my own so she just slid in with them…what I get for 3 kids a month is Ktap is ridiculous! I should qualify for some kind of assistance for my granddaughter… there ought to be amendments made there are too many loopholes in the system…
My mom had custody of my niece. I sister dropped them in the middle of the night on her while running from the police. CPS was involved and mom received permanent custody. In May of this year my mom passed away very unexpectedly, I stepped in and took my niece because my sister is in court ordered rehab and the dad has never had anything to do with her (she is 6). I was denied for Kinship because they said CPS did not place her with me. They basically said I should of scared her more and had CPS come get her and then they could of placed her with me and I would of gotten approved. Why would I do that this child had a horrible life, a mom a drugs, men hitting her and then watching her only constant died in front of her. I feel like I am being punished for trying to do the right thing. Daycare along is almost $600 a month.
I have had 1 grandson for 8 yrs now and his 2 brothers that are 6 and 3 I brought home from the hospital due to drug use by the mother. I am on disability ss and the state only gives $262 a month for all 3 boys. 1 is autistic 1 has sever emotional problems. Yet if they were in the foster system thefoster parents would get at least $45 a day per child if not more. But since I chose to take custody of my grandsons to keep them out of foster care and part of the family the state doesn’t seem it is necessary to help the grandparents.
I’m In tge same boat to I have 2 of my grandkids they was being abused by both mother and father but because I stepped up and took them I don’t qualify for kinship either I’m on a very fixed income Trinity is 4 Jukka is 2 I don’t understand this system