Support for Kinship Families
Kinship care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends (often referred to as fictive kin). Relatives and adults already known by the children are the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth primary parents because it maintains the children’s connections with their families. Kinship care is often considered a type of family preservation service
.Kinship care may be formal and involve a training and licensure process for the caregivers, monthly payments to help defray the costs of caring for the child, and support services. Kinship care also may be informal and involve only an assessment process to ensure the safety and suitability of the home along with supportive services for the child and caregivers.
OFCA encourages the development of support services for kinship families Ohio Resources include:
- Cash assistance – Apply at JFS and ask for “Child Only” TANF or Ohio Works First cash assistance. Eligibility is based on the child’s out-of-home status, not the caregiver’s income.
- Medicaid coverage – Eligibility is based on the child’s income. Children not already covered by a health insurance policy are likely eligible for a Medicaid card. This will be VERY valuable in meeting the needs of the child in your care.
- SNAP (Food Stamps) – This benefit is based on your household income and number of people living there.
- Child care subsidy – This benefit is for low-income caregivers who are working.
- Kinship Permanency Incentive Program – Financial supports are available for qualifying permanent kinship families (those with judicial custody).
- Grandparent Power of Attorney and Caregiver Affidavit forms – These forms assist grandparent caregivers who have physical custody of their grandchildren, but not judicially awarded custody. When properly completed, notarized and filed with the court, these forms assist grandparents in enrolling grandchildren in school and participating as the parent, as well as accessing routine and emergency medical and dental care. The revised forms do not expire, and if disagreements arise between grandparent caregivers and the parent, the grandparent can request a hearing in juvenile court and seek judicial custody.
Other Resources for Kin Caregivers
- Kinship Care Month is celebrated each September. Check out the latest kinship research and resources from the Children’s Bureau.
- Ohio’s “GrandFacts” Fact Sheet from Grandfamilies.org
- Ohio Grandparent/Kinship Coalition
- Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (KPI)
- Ohio Resource Guide for Relatives Caring for Children
- Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School