Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

4.4-Fictive Kin Evaluation and Placement

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
4.4-Fictive Kin Evaluation and Placement

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Legal Authority:


Fictive kin are individuals who are not related to a child by birth, marriage or adoption; however, they have developed an emotionally significant relationship with a child.  These individuals may include a trusted schoolteacher, coach or neighbor.  Fictive kin may be utilized when a child is removed from their home of origin and when no family members or relatives are identified as an appropriate placement option for a child. 

Practice Guidance:

The SSW is not obligated to search for or seek out fictive kin placements, however, may utilize fictive kin if presented with an appropriate option.
If a fictive kin caregiver becomes an approved foster/adoptive home, per diem reimbursements will begin upon approval and will not be made retroactively.



The SSW: 

  1. May utilize fictive kin placements for children removed from their home of origin when biological parents and other family members are not considered a placement option for a child;
  2. Assesses the relationship of the individual considered for fictive kin placement during the initial case planning conference;
  3. Completes a home evaluation within three (3) working days of placement;
  4. Determines if the fictive kin will be applying to be a foster/adoptive
    home, prior to placement;
  5. Informs fictive kin they may apply to become a foster or adoptive home while the child in their care is in the custody of the Cabinet; however, if they choose not to seek approval as a foster parent they will not have the option to do this at a later time after they have received temporary custody;  1
  6. Informs potential fictive placements that financial assistance is not available unless the caregiver is approved as a foster/adoptive parent and provides the Resource Options for Fictive Kin;
  7. Recommends the Cabinet maintain custody of the child while fictive kin pursue foster/adoption certification;
  8. Informs fictive kin they must sign a Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement before the agency will recommend any placement arrangement with the fictive;
  9. Petitions the court for an exit to permanent custody or legal guardianship for a relative or fictive kin that does not complete foster/adoptive certification within 12 months of the child’s entry into the placement; 
  10. Completes criminal background checks on potential fictive kin placements, including adult household members in accordance with SOP 12.4, Background Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents;
  11. Retains the original signed Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement in the hard record;
  12. Provides, when a child has been placed for seventy two (72) hours, a copy of Reporting Child Abuse Neglect and Dependency to help fictive kin recognize and report child abuse or neglect and documents this in the case file;
  13. Provides information, within the first five (5) days of placement , about the requirement to complete a Cabinet approved, one and one-half hours (1.5) hours of Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (PAHT) training to individuals caring for a child under the age of five (5) and documents completion of the training in the case file; 2
  14. Explains the Cabinet’s requirement to make monthly home visits, facilitate visitation between parents, children and siblings, and hold case planning conferences to meet the needs of the child and plan for permanency;
  15. Informs fictive kin if a minor child is a juvenile sex offender or of any inappropriate sexual acts or sexual behavior by the child specifically known by the Cabinet or Department of Juvenile Justice at the time of placement; and
  16. Reports, as necessary, any sexual behaviors or acts not known about the child at the time of placement.



Procedure for ICPC Requests: 


The SSW:

Follows the same procedure in state placement procedures with the following exceptions:  

  1. Submits an ICPC request to the Kentucky Interstate office.  The signed Caregiver Agreement must be included with the request packet.  An expedited request cannot be completed since the Placement Resource (PR) is not a relative.  Not all states will accept fictive kin requests.  Contact the KY ICPC office to determine if the receiving state will accept a fictive kin request or if a foster home request will need to be submitted;
  2. Receives a completed home evaluation from the receiving state;
  3. Receives the one-time PAHT requirement from the PR prior to placement.  This can be completed while the home study is being conducted or once approval is received, but must be completed before placement is to occur.  The worker documents completion of the training in the case file and includes verification of completion with the 100B.


  1. The decision, by the fictive kin caregiver to pursue foster parent approval does not guarantee approval.
  2. PAHT is a one-time requirement and may be viewed by the fictive kin caregiver on the cabinet's YouTube site (see link in Forms and Resources section). After completion of the training, the fictive kin caregiver submits the Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma Certificate of Completion form to the worker, to be placed in the hard copy case file. 




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