KENTUCKY RELATIVE CAREGIVER
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.
1) What does this ruling say?
In the case, D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents if the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) places the child with the relative, has conducted a home study and background checks, and if CHFS retains custody of the child or has transferred the child from CHFS's custody to the temporary custody of the relative or fictive kin.
Payment amounts vary depending on a child's needs but average about $750 a month per child.
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?
Individuals are encouraged to email CHFS at: DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov if they think they might qualify. Please include your name, phone number, child(ren) names and date of birth for each child. Email correspondence is the most efficient way to start the process of determining eligibility. If email is not an option, families and caregivers who think they may be eligible for the relative or fictive kin payment can contact the Kinship Support Hotline at (877) 565-5608.