Every kid needs a family and a safe place to call home. On January 27, 2017, the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet) must provide foster care maintenance payments to “approved” relatives caring for children placed by the Cabinet, affirming that core belief in the importance of family. When kids can’t live safely with their parents, the next best alternative is to live with a family member. Placement with relatives and close family friends reduces the trauma of separation and sets kids up for a brighter future.
1) What does this ruling mean?
This ruling means that Kentucky must support approved relatives (those who have had a Relative Home Evaluation and background checks) just like it supports approved foster parents caring for children in foster care. Relatives who are approved by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) as relative placements by passing standard home evaluations and criminal background checks are eligible for foster care maintenance payments. These approved relative foster caregivers do not need to be licensed as non-relative foster care providers must be. Approved relative foster care providers are eligible for these payments until the relative is granted official permanent custody of the child at a permanent custody hearing.
2) Who does this ruling apply to?
This ruling applies to approved relative caregivers for children who are in the legal custody of DCBS. If a court has granted permanent custody of the child to a relative, and ended DCBS’s legal custody of the child, the payments stop. There are no retroactive payments.
3) Who does this ruling not apply to?
This ruling does not apply to situations where children are with a relative caregiver informally, which means DCBS did not remove the child from the parent and place the child with the relative. The ruling also does not apply to situations where a kinship caregiver has permanent custody of a relative child.
4) How does the ruling affect the Kentucky Kinship Care Program?
This ruling does not directly affect the Kentucky Kinship Care Program. If you are part of that program and were “approved” by DCBS to care for a relative child who is in the legal custody of DCBS, you should be eligible for a foster care maintenance payment to help cover the costs of the child’s living expenses.
5) I am taking care of my relative child who was placed with me by DCBS. What do I do?
If you are looking for other supports and are caring for a relative child, please call the Kinship Support Hotline at 877-565-5608.
6) How much per day does a foster parent receive for a child in his or her care?
Currently the rates for foster care vary depending on the type of placement and needs of the child. Daily rates for foster care in Kentucky range from around $20/day to $139/day for a child with the most significant needs.
7) Does this decision impact kinship families in other states?
Decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit also apply to Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. If you know families like yours in those states, you should let them know about this decision and tell them to contact their local child welfare agency.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has decided to appeal the Sixth Circuit Court’s January ruling. Read our statement on upholding the ruling in the Supreme Court here.
When dose this go in effect
Hello Mary, please call the kinship support hotline at 877-565-5608 to see if you’re eligible for supports based on this ruling, as well as additional supports.
I’m now receiving Kinship care for my 2grandkids who DCBS AND THE COURT gave me full permanent custody, so how does this effect me in Kentucky?
Audrey, thank you for stepping up to care for your grandchildren. This ruling should not affect your benefits, as you have permanent custody of the children. If you experience an interruption in supports, please contact the Kinship Care Hotline at 877-565-5608.
Finally I think this is great!! I think it should care on after the custody is granted grandparents cant always afford it but don’t want to loose grandkids.
This article is misleading. It reads as if the ruling is in effect immediately. It seems clear the appeal means that families won’t receive these payments/supports for months or years to come.
We apologize for the confusion. Please call the kinship support hotline at 877-565-5608 to see if you’re eligible for supports based on this ruling, as well as additional supports.
I have permanent custody placed w me by DCBS however I only receive ktap, am I eligible?
Thanks for reaching out and for stepping up to care for your family member. We suggest contacting the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Kinship Support Hotline 877-565-5608 or email DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov to see what your family is eligible for.
My name is Gena, I have temporary custody of my niece but DCBS say I’m not Eligible for foster care because my niece was placed in my home by her mother only for educational purpose only. They never gave my niece up. While Lacy was living with me she decided she wanted CPS CALLED on her parents because they are severe alcoholics and they weren’t trying to help themselves . We did call CPS and from then on out CPS placed lacy in my home until the court date witch now I have temporary custody.
Hello Gena, thank you for stepping up to care for your niece. Please call the kinship support hotline at 877-565-5608 to see if you’re eligible for supports based on this ruling, as well as additional supports.
I have “permanent” custody of my niece and nephew – we have had them since the baby was 2 days old. We had a few hour notice to come and get the kids. We stepped up so the babies didn’t have to go into foster care. We contacted Kinship – they said since the children were not in foster care first we have no option for help. The state stopped our daycare assistance the end of July. Our daycare costs went from $250.00 a month to $1100.00 a month. My husband and I both work. I have raised two kids and have a granddaughter. Sure didn’t plan to raise two more kids. We are really struggling with this and keep being told we are not eligible for aid. What are we supposed to do – have these two babies handed over to foster care? Quit my job?
I have permanent custody of my two grandchildren. Does having permanent custody mean I’m not eligible?
Thanks for reaching out and for stepping up to care for your grandchildren. We suggest contacting the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Kinship Support Hotline 877-565-5608 or email DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov to see what your family is eligible for. Thank you.
We are currently receiving kinship, but was just granted permanent custody. Does this mean that the kinship stops? We will definitely continue to care for and provide for them either way, but it sure helps.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for stepping up to care for your young relatives when they needed you. Please call Shannon Moody with Kentucky Youth Advocates so we can best answer your questions: 502-895-8167 EXT 126. Thank you.
Hi. I now have permanent custody of my great nephew. I’ve had him since he was norn 2 years ago but first was emergency custody,and then temporary custody,and a year ago permanent custody. He has received ktap since around October of 2019. I am a full time student and I an needing to know if he is eligible for child care assistance? I was approved and then a week later got discontinued.
For more information regarding available programs and/or to apply for benefits, please contact your social worker or the kinship support hotline at (877) 565-5608 or via e-mail email@example.com. Also, if you have recently began caring for a child as a result of DCBS intervention, find additional information related to services and supports that may be available to you here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/329085068