State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has begun financial assistance payments to eligible relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS.

An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals 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 and are paid a daily rate. The ruling also includes fictive kin — close family friends — who provide foster care for children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Payment amounts vary depending on a child’s needs but will average about $750 a month per child.

CHFS began making payments to the original plaintiffs in the ruling in early December. Beginning later this month, CHFS will issue payments to approximately 15 other relative and fictive kin caregivers who have already inquired about payments and whose eligibility was determined under the ruling.

DCBS estimates that in state fiscal year 2019 — July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019 — D.O. v. Glisson will affect approximately 1,590 children whose relative or fictive caregivers will receive about $14.3 million in funding assistance. In state fiscal year 2020 — July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 –the ruling will affect approximately 1,700 children, whose relative/fictive caregivers will receive about $15.3 million.

Specialists have been assigned to review cases to determine eligibility. Per the ruling, relative and fictive kin caregivers are treated like foster parents if the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) places the child with the relative and has conducted a home study and background checks, and if CHFS either retains custody or has transferred the child from CHFS’ custody to the temporary custody of the relative or fictive kin. Under the ruling, these relative and fictive kin caregivers qualify for a foster care per diem – or daily payment — for the care of the child.

Families and caregivers who think they may be eligible for the relative or fictive kin payment can contact the CHFS Kinship Support Hotline at 877-565-5608 or email [email protected].

Relatives and fictive kin may also be eligible for other support services.

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