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What is Kinship Care?

Kinship is used to describe a home that is a relative or non-relative of a child that has a relationship or bond with the child and birth family. Some children are lucky enough to be cared for by kin, when their own families are unable to do so.

Kinship families are typically suggested by the birth parents when it determined that the child must be placed in out-of-home care. Some kinship families contact the Agency after they find out that a child they have a close relationship with has been placed in a foster home.

Kinship families can work similar to foster care or, in some situations, adoption. The home assessments may model the requirements for foster care; however, a complete certification process may not be implemented. Kinship families must complete criminal background checks and be self supporting.

Kinship families need to be willing to work with Agency caseworkers, the birth family and area service providers, as well as the child. The family must be supportive of case plan goals and objectives and be an active participant in the case.

Kinship Permanency Incentive Program:

The “Kinship Permanency Incentive” (KPI) program is designed to promote a permanent commitment by a kinship caregiver(s) through becoming guardians and custodians over minor children who would otherwise be unsafe or at risk of harm if they remained in their own homes. KPI provides time-limited incentive payments to eligible families caring for their kin.

In order for a kinship caregiver(s) to be eligible for KPI, all of the following criteria must be met:

• a court issued order granting legal custody or legal guardianship to the kinship caregiver(s), on July 1, 2005 or thereafter.  Any temporary orders do not apply;

• the child currently resides with the kinship caregiver(s).  If the child is on temporary leave from the kinship caregiver(s) home (e.g. hospitalization, mental health treatment or respite) and the kinship caregiver(s) retains legal custody or legal guardianship, this shall not preclude eligibility for KPI;

• the kinship caregiver(s) is a resident of the state of Ohio;

• the placement was approved by the public children’s services agency or private child placing agency pursuant to paragraphs (B) to (H) of Rule 5101:2-42-18 of the Ohio Administrative Code. For children placed directly with a kinship caregiver(s) by a court or relative, Washington County Children Services shall access the home in accordance with the requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code prior to the approval of KPI; and

• the gross income of the kinship caregiver’s household with the child does not exceed three hundred percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

The eligible kinship caregiver(s) shall receive an initial amount of one thousand dollars per child to defray costs of initial placement and may receive five hundred dollars per child at six month intervals to support the stability of the child’s placement in the home. The maximum incentive amount may not exceed thirty-five hundred dollars per child per placement or per kinship caregiver(s). The incentive amount for the kinship caregiver(s) shall not be provided for longer than a total of 36 consecutive months during which time the child remains in the legal custody or legal guardianship of the kinship caregiver(s) and continues to meet the other eligibility requirements of the program.

For additional information concerning the Kinship Permanency Incentive Program, contact Beth Palmer at 740-373-3485.