Kinship Guardianship as a Permanency Option - Kentucky

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Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 600.020; Admin. Regs. Tit. 922, § 1:130

The term 'fictive kin' means an individual who is not related by birth, adoption, or marriage to a child but who has an emotionally significant relationship with the child.

In regulation: The term 'caretaker relative' means a relative with whom the child is, or shall be, placed by the cabinet and who is seeking to qualify as a kinship caregiver. A 'kinship caregiver' is the qualified caregiver relative of a child with whom the child is placed by the cabinet as an alternative to foster care.

Purpose of Guardianship

Citation: Admin. Regs. Tit. 922, § 1:140

The permanency goal for a child in the custody of the cabinet shall be legal guardianship if the cabinet determines that:

  • Return to the parent or adoption is not in the child's best interests.
  • There is an identified adult willing to seek legal guardianship of this child.
  • Legal guardianship by the identified adult is in the child's best interests.

Legal guardianship shall be requested pursuant to Rev. Stat. § 387.025.

A Guardian's Rights and Responsibilities

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Qualifying the Guardian

Citation: Admin. Regs. Tit. 922, § 1:130

The caregiver relative of the child and each adult member of the household shall undergo a criminal records check and a child abuse and neglect check conducted by the cabinet. Each adolescent household member of the caregiver relative's home shall undergo a child abuse and neglect check.

The caregiver relative and each household member shall agree to undergo a relative home evaluation. During a relative home evaluation, the cabinet shall consider the caregiver relative's understanding of the impact that familial abuse, neglect, or substance abuse may have on a child and the child's extended family and their willingness and ability to:

  • Protect the child from abuse or neglect
  • Assume permanent custody
  • Participate in the child's case permanency plan
  • Access transportation, telephone, medical services, first aid supplies, and school
  • Provide full-time care
  • Accommodate for the child within the home, including:
    • Providing for the child's sleeping and eating
    • Maintaining adequate heat and ventilation in the home
    • Using active smoke detectors in the home
    • Assuring the child's inaccessibility to medication, alcoholic beverages, poisonous substances, cleaning materials, ammunition, firearms, and unsupervised contact with a birth parent

Procedures for Establishing Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 387.025; 387.032

Any interested person or entity may petition the district court for the appointment of a guardian for an unmarried minor. The petition for appointment shall include the following:

  • The name and address of the minor
  • The date of birth of the minor
  • The name and address of the minor's spouse, if any
  • The names and addresses of the minor's parents or, if the minor has no living parent, the names and addresses of the minor's adult next of kin
  • The name and address of the individual or facility having custody of the minor
  • The facts and reasons supporting the need for a guardianship for the minor
  • The name and address of the petitioner
  • The name and address of the petitioner's attorney, if any
  • The name and address of the person or entity desiring appointment as guardian

The petition shall be accompanied by a verified application of the person or entity desiring appointment as guardian. The application shall set forth the following:

  • The name, address, and age of the applicant
  • The applicant's relationship to the minor, if any
  • Whether or not the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime
  • The applicant's qualifications to serve as guardian

The court shall appoint a time for hearing the petition and application. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given no less than 5 days prior to the hearing to the minor, if the minor is older than age 14, and to each of the persons or entities required to be named in the petition.

In appointing a guardian, the court shall appoint any person or entity whose appointment would be in the best interests of the minor.

Contents of a Guardianship Order

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Modification/Revocation of Guardianship

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Kinship Guardianship Assistance

Citation: Admin. Regs. Tit. 922, § 1:130

To the extent funds are available, the cabinet may consider a child for initial eligibility in the kinship care program if the cabinet:

  • Determines that the child is at risk of removal from the child's home with the child's biological or adoptive parent and would otherwise be placed in foster care, or is in the custody of the cabinet and residing in foster care due to:
    • A cabinet investigation that resulted in a substantiation of abuse or neglect within 120 calendar days of placement in the home of the caregiver relative and prior to April 1, 2013
    • The death of both parents
  • Places the child with a caregiver relative prior to April 1, 2013, due to abuse or neglect or the death of both parents

Kinship care program benefits shall be available to a child who was placed by the cabinet with a nonparental relative in accordance with this administrative regulation and whose initial eligibility determination for the kinship care program took place prior to April 1, 2013.

Links to Agency Policies

Kentucky Administrative Regulations, 922 KAR 1:130, Kinship Care Program (PDF - 166 KB)