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The Sixth Circuit Court Ruling: What Does It Say?

By | 2017-10-11T22:15:04+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Every kid needs a family and a safe place to call home. 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.

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. The ruling had been appealed, but in October 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request to hear the case, which means the Sixth Circuit Court’s ruling stands.

As child advocates, we want to help connect relative caregivers with places to get answers on the court ruling. Find general information below.

1) What does this ruling say?

This ruling says that approved relative caregivers (without permanent custody) of children placed by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) may be eligible for foster care payments if they meet certain criteria.

2) 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 relative caregiver has permanent custody of a child.

3) 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, a child was placed in your care by DCBS, and you don’t have permanent custody, you may be eligible for a foster care maintenance payment to help cover the costs of the child’s living expenses.

4)  I am taking care of my relative child who was placed with me by DCBS. What do I do?

If you are caring for a relative child and believe you may be eligible for these payments, contact your social worker and keep a record of your communication. The Kinship Support Hotline (877-565-5608) may also have helpful information.

Read Kentucky Youth Advocates statement on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding financial support for Kentucky relative caregivers here.

15 Comments

  1. Sheree October 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I have permanent custody of my 2 grandchildren. Can we get dome financial help?

    • Kentucky Youth Advocates October 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Sheree,

      This ruling says that approved relative caregivers (without permanent custody) of children placed by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) may be eligible for foster care payments if they meet certain criteria. We would recommend contacting the Kinship Hotline to see what other supports your family may be eligible for: 877-565-5608. Thank you for stepping up to care for your grandchildren.

      • Sheree Nall October 19, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

        I have contacted them. All the kids get is Passport and 186.oo a month. My husband will never be able to retire at this rate. I wish they would consider helping grandparents raising their grandchildren.

  2. Holli October 13, 2017 at 5:30 am - Reply

    What is going to happen if anything for those of us who do have permanent custody? Is there anything we can do to help get these payments for the kids? What a difference it would make! I’m so happy for all that has been done but worried about the future of those who have permanent custody?
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    • Kentucky Youth Advocates October 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Holli,

      If you have permanent custody of a relative child, we would recommend contacting the Kinship Support Hotline to see what supports your family may be eligible for: 877-565-5608 or DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov. If you’re interested in staying up-to-date on issues regarding supports and ways to advocate for kinship caregiver supports in Kentucky, please check out the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky website (http://kinshipky.org/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KinshipFamiliesCoalitionofKY/).

      Thank you for all you do for your family.

  3. Gail Milligan October 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    I have been taking care of my three grandchildren now for almost 5 years. I try to get some kind of help for ourselves, but the Cabinet of Human Resources says there are none. I have custody of the three children until their parent follow through with the orders to go to drug classes. Which they have not done to this date. The Judge didn’t give me temporary or full custody its all on remend. I am a widow and on disability. One of my grandchildren has health issues which he has to go to the Doctor once a month and to 2 specialists every 3 months. I hope I can get some help. Thank you,

    • Kentucky Youth Advocates October 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Gail,

      Thank you for stepping up to care for your grandchildren. You are doing such an important job. We would recommend contacting the Kinship Support Hotline to see what supports your family may be eligible for: 877-565-5608 or DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov. Thank you for all you do for your family.

  4. Inge October 27, 2017 at 11:12 am - Reply

    What exactly does “approved caregiver” mean? I have had temporary custody of my two grandsons since August 2016. I was “approved” through DCBS which I am pretty sure everyone has to be before children are placed in their care. So I am a little confused by that word?

    • Kentucky Youth Adovcates November 2, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hi there,

      Thank you for stepping up to care for your grandsons. If you were approved as a relative caregiver by the Cabinet and do not have permanent custody, you may be eligible for these payments. We would recommend contacting your social worker to see if your family is eligible. The Kinship Support Hotline may also have helpful information on supports your family is eligible for: 877-565-5608 or DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov. Thanks for all you do for your family.

  5. Renee October 27, 2017 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    I have tempory custody of my niece would I be eligible for this foster care payment ?

    • Kentucky Youth Adovcates November 2, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Hi Renee,

      Thank you for stepping up to care for your niece. We would recommend contacting your social worker to see if your family is eligible for these payments. The Kinship Support Hotline may also have helpful information on supports your family is eligible for: 877-565-5608 or DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov.

  6. James Phillippi November 7, 2017 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    I have asked our case worker about getting the foster care money but they say they do not know anything about it. We have had our 3 granddaughters since April and only receiving $262/month and healthcare. We have been approved and had crime check as well as monthly home evaluations. When should this take effect?

  7. Auntie December 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    My husband and I have temporary legal and physical custody of our 3 neices. We becAme licenced foster parents in our state so we would be able to have everthing completed before the ICPC was finished. The girls were in foster care for one month only because we were waiting for the ICPC. The girls are here Ky keeps jurisdiction. KY SSW says we are financially responsible for them and there is no help. Is this because we are out of state?

  8. Merrill johnson March 28, 2018 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I am drawing disability. My daughter, who has filed for disability, is waiting for approval. Her son also lives with me. I need assistance. What procedures do I need to do to see if I’m qualified.

    • Kentucky Youth Advocates April 5, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Hi Merrill,

      Thanks for reaching out. 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.

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