Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

4.5.3 Kinship Care Benefits Approvals-Prior to April 1, 2013 

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC) 
Effective:
1/22/2014 
Section:
4.5.3 Kinship Care Benefits Approvals-Prior to April 1, 2013 
Version:

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Legal Authority/Introduction 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

  1. The SSW documents on the Kinship Care Checklist and assessment reasons the child(ren) cannot remain in the primary caregiver’s home; as well as efforts to engage Family Preservation (FPP) and other in home services, prior to placing the child(ren) with a relative and exploring kinship care options.
  2. The SSW asks the relative if he/she wants to apply for kinship care benefits and shares information about becoming a potential placement option at the time of consideration of a relative placement for a child.
  3. The SSW reviews the KC-01 Kinship Care Program Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 7/03 with the caretaker relative to make certain that the caretaker relative understands his/her rights and responsibilities, particularly those related to the child's permanency if the child and caretaker are eligible for kinship care benefits.
  4. The SSW reviews the following conditions with the relative caregiver which include, but are not limited to:
    1. The income and resources of the caretaker relative is disregarded when the child's eligibility for financial assistance through kinship care is established;
    2. The fact that the caretaker relative is mandated to cooperate in the child support activities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 608(a)(2) and 921 KAR 2:006, Section 16;
    3. The fact that if the caretaker relative refuses to cooperate with child support activity, the kinship care financial assistance payment is reduced and the Cabinet attempts to obtain a protective payee to administer the payment on behalf of the child;
    4. The fact that if reunification with the birth parents is not possible, permanent custody by the caretaker relative is the ultimate goal of the program.
  5. The SSW signs and dates the KC-01 along with the caretaker relative or authorized representative, and the signed copy is retained in the child’s case file.
  6. The SSW provides copies of the KC-01 to the caretaker relative and the local Family Support office.
  7. The SSW proceeds with a relative placement if the caretaker relative declines the offer of the kinship care and related benefits.
  8. The SSW documents the declination to receive kinship care benefits on the KC-01.
  9. The SSW proceeds with the completion of a criminal background check and child abuse and neglect check on the caretaker relative and each adult household member, and a child abuse and neglect check on each adolescent household member prior to the child's placement with the caretaker relative if the caretaker relative accepts the offer of applying for kinship care and related benefits. 
  10. The SSW determines if the caretaker relative and each adult and adolescent household member meet eligibility criteria as outlined in this SOP. 
  11. The SSW completes a relative home evaluation. 
  12. The SSW along with the caretaker relative (or representative, if authorized in writing), completes and signs the KIM 78KC-Kinship Care Financial Assistance Application, edition 07/03 once the criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check and the home evaluation are completed and approved. 1 
  13. Designated regional staff makes an initial determination of eligibility for kinship care benefits if the relative expresses interest in applying.
  14. Designated regional staff reviews the Kinship Care Checklist and the kinship care packet to ensure all necessary information is present.
  15. Designated regional staff e-mails the Kinship Care Checklist to the following mailbox: CHFS DCBS DPP Kinship Care (see link in Forms and Resources box) for review by central office staff. 2
  16. The SSW attaches the approval e-mail from the central office reviewer to the information packet and forwards it, along with the following information, to the local Family Support office, within three (3) calendar days for consideration of kinship care benefits:
    1. The completed, signed KIM-78KC Kinship Care Financial Assistance Application, edition 07/03; 3 
    2. A copy of the signed KC-01 Kinship Care Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 07/03;
    3. Written verification from the SSW or regional staff that the child meets criteria and the caretaker relative has met initial eligibility criteria; and
    4. Any documentation which may be pertinent in determining eligibility for financial assistance through kinship care. 4 
  17. The SSW notifies the caretaker relative that he/she will receive notice of an appointment with the local Family Support office.
  18. The SSW explains to the caretaker relative that failure to keep an appointment with the Family Support office may result in ineligibility for kinship care benefits.
  19. The SSW documents all contacts with the Family Support office, which is mandated to determine eligibility for kinship care benefits and issue payment, within forty-five (45) calendar days of the date the KIM-78KC is signed by the caretaker relative or representative, unless the Family Support office grants an exception to obtain verification necessary for an eligibility determination. 5
  20. The SSW enters each child approved for kinship care in the OOHC screens as described on the Entering Relative Resources in TWIST tip sheet.
  21. The SSW explains to the caretaker relative that the relative is responsible for reporting within ten (10) calendar days to the Family Support office any change in circumstance that may affect eligibility or the amount of financial assistance;
  22. The SSW contacts the Family Support office and documents the change in the child's case file if the SSW becomes aware of any change in circumstance that may affect eligibility or the amount of financial assistance; 6  
  23. The SSW uses the following principles to guide the development and delivery of supports and services to kinship care families to include:
    1. The child’s safety, well-being and developmental needs are paramount and must be met through a stable, nurturing environment supported by a range of services that address physical, emotional, social, educational, and cultural needs of the child;
    2. The child (ren), parents and kinship care caretaker relatives formally involved with the Cabinet, participate in the decision making process to establish a permanent family arrangement for the child;
    3. Family continuity is important and should recognize and build upon family relationships whenever possible to promoting a child’s:
        1. Self-esteem;
        2. Sense of heritage; and
        3. Cultural connectedness;
    4. Kinship services are negotiated with the family to ensure an understanding and appreciation of the culture of the child (ren) and families served as outlined in SOP 4.1 Native American Child/Maintaining Cultural Connections;
    5. Community partners, including counselors, and mental health care, education, and health care practitioners, involved with the case as requested/permitted by the parent(s) have knowledge of kinship care criteria and case specifics as appropriate;
    6. A wide range of services, ranging from prevention to rehabilitative services, may be offered as appropriate.
  24. The SSW sends a DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal along with the DPP-154A Notice of Intended Action stating the reason for denial, if their application to receive kinship care benefits is denied.  

Practice Guidance

  • The caretaker relative indicates by checking off the appropriate box on the bottom of the KC-01-Kinship Care Program Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 07/03 whether or not s/he formerly accepts or declines the offer to apply for kinship care and related benefits. 
  • If the caretaker relative accepts the offer of applying for kinship care benefits, they must meet all eligibility criteria and be granted final approval by central office.    
 

Footnotes

  1. One copy is retained for the case file; another is provided to the caretaker relative.
  2. When a completed checklist is received by central office, the central office reviewer will return the request within forty-eight (48) hours; unless there is necessary information missing, in which case it could take up to one (1) week to process the request. 
  3. Financial assistance eligibility begins the date the child is placed in the caretaker relative’s home.
  4. The relative home evaluation is not shared with the local Family Support Office.
  5. Financial assistance eligibility begins the date the child is placed in the caretaker relative’s home, and this date is indicated on the KIM-78KC.
  6. Depending upon the nature of the change, the case may need to undergo a re-determination or reapplication of eligibility, or reassessment.

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