Placement of Children With Relatives - Ohio

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Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 5101.85; 5153.161; Admin. Code § 5101:2-42-05

A kinship caregiver is any the following persons who is aged 18 or older and who is caring for the child in place of the child's parents:

  • The following individuals related by blood or adoption to the child:
    • Grandparents, including great, great-great, and great-great-great-grandparents
    • Siblings
    • Parents' siblings and their adult children, including any relative with a great, great-great, or grand prefix
    • First cousins and first cousins once removed
  • Stepparents and stepsiblings of the child
  • Spouses or former spouses of any of the above
  • A legal guardian or legal custodian of the child
  • Any nonrelative adult that has a familiar and long-standing relationship or bond with the child or the family, which relationship or bond will ensure the child's social ties

A 'qualified nonrelative' is a nonrelative adult whom a child or the current custodial caregiver of a child identifies as having a familiar and longstanding relationship or bond with the child or the child's family that will ensure the child's social and cultural ties.

In regulation: When a child cannot remain in their own home, the child-placing agency shall explore both maternal and paternal relatives, including a noncustodial parent, regarding their willingness and ability to assume temporary custody or guardianship of the child. Unless it is not in the child's best interests, the agency shall explore placement with a noncustodial parent before considering other relatives.

If a suitable relative is not available to assume temporary custody, guardianship, or placement, the agency shall explore placement with a suitable nonrelative who has a relationship with the child and/or family.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Citation: Admin. Code § 5101:2-42-18

Prior to placing the child with the relative or nonrelative substitute caregiver, the agency shall adhere to the following procedures in approving the placement setting:

  • Collect identifying information
  • Complete a search of the statewide automated child welfare information system for the prospective caregiver and all adults residing in the home
  • Assess the condition, safety, and cleanliness of the home
  • Provide the prospective caregiver with information regarding educational, medical, child care, and special needs of the child, including information on how to access support services
  • Provide the prospective caregiver with the following information:
    • How to apply for child-only financial assistance and Medicaid coverage
    • The requirements for foster caregiver certification
  • Assess the prospective caregiver's ability and willingness to provide safe and appropriate care and supervision of the child
  • Require all adults in the home to identify prior protective services involvement
  • Complete State and national criminal records checks and a review of the national sex offender registry on the prospective caregiver and all adults residing in the home
  • Require the prospective caregiver to submit written notification if a person aged 12 to 18 residing in the home has been convicted of or plead guilty to any offenses described in § 5103.0319 of the Revised Code or has been adjudicated to be a delinquent child for committing an act that if committed by an adult would have constituted such a violation

If a child must be removed from their home immediately, the agency may place the child with the prospective relative or nonrelative caregiver if there are no known safety concerns and initiate the assessment of the home no later than the next business day.

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 5101:2-42-05; 5101:2-42-92(D); 5101:2-53-08

The child-placing agency shall attempt to place siblings in the same home unless it is not in the child's or siblings' best interests.

In the child's best interests, the agency shall arrange visits and communication between the child and their siblings and significant others integral to maintaining connections with those individuals. The agency also shall arrange visits related to the maintenance of connections with Indian Tribes pursuant to rule 5101:2-53-06 of the Administrative Code.

When the child-placing agency has custody of an Indian child, the agency shall attempt to place siblings in the same home unless it is not in the child's or siblings' best interests.

Relatives Who May Adopt

Citation: Rev. Code § 5103.161; Admin. Code § 5101:2-53-08

If a child-placing agency has placed a child in a foster home or with a relative of the child, other than a parent of the child, the agency shall notify the child's foster caregiver or relative if the agency seeks permanent custody of the child or, if the agency already has permanent custody of the child, seeks to place the child for adoption. The notice also shall inform the foster caregiver or relative that the foster caregiver or relative can be considered for adoption.

In regulation: In any adoptive placement of an Indian child, a placement preference shall be given in the following order:

  • A member of the child's extended family
  • Other members of the Indian child's Tribe
  • Other Indian families
  • Other non-Indian prospective adoptive families

When the Indian child's Tribe establishes a different order of preference for an adoptive placement, the State agency shall abide by the Tribe's order. In any substitute, preadoptive, or adoptive placement, when appropriate, the agency also shall consider the preference of the Indian child or the Indian child's parent.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

Citation: Rev. Code § 5103.161

If the foster caregiver or relative informs the agency that the foster caregiver or relative wants to adopt the child, the agency shall inform the foster caregiver or relative of the process for obtaining an application to adopt the child and that the child may be placed for adoption in another home even if the foster caregiver or relative submits the application. If the agency is given permanent custody of the child and the foster caregiver or relative has informed the agency of the foster caregiver's or relative's desire to adopt the child, the agency shall consider giving preference to an adult relative over a nonrelative caregiver when determining an adoptive placement for the child, provided the adult relative satisfies all relevant child protection standards and the agency determines that the placement is in the child's best interests.