What are the eligibility criteria for a child to receive guardianship assistance?
Third degree of kin, licensed foster parent at least six months.
Eligibility criteria may be found in the Alaska Admin Code AAC 53.227-State adoption or guardianship subsidy.
Child must have been declared the subject of Permanent Guardianship order through Juvenile Court and any other benefits awarded to child do not exceed the amount of guardianship subsidy rate.
Eligibility is based on a child's specific circumstances at the time of determination. For more information, please view: Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP) .
Colorado's eligibility criteria for a child/youth to receive guardianship assistance may be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services website Relative Guardianship Assistance Program .
Subsidy is only permitted when reunification or adoption is not an appropriate permanency option. Information about Regular Subsidized Transfer of Guardianship (STOG) and Permanent STOG is addressed in the Connecticut General Statutes.
Child is age 2 or over, member of a sibling or minority group, may present a physical, mental, or emotional handicap, or at a high risk for developing physical or mental disease.
Information about the Guardianship Assistance Program is addressed in the Florida Administrative Rule, Chapter 65C-44 .
Eligibility criteria are outlined in the Georgia Department of Human Services Child Welfare Policy Manual
Eligibility criteria are addressed in the Hawaii Administrative Rules 17-1621, Subtitle 11, Child Welfare Services Program, Chapter 1621, Permanency Assistance.
To be eligible for Title IV-E guardianship program:
- Child (or one child in a sibling group being placed for guardianship in the same home as the eligible sibling) must be aged 14 years or older
- Child must have been placed in foster care with required judicial language Child must have been IV-E eligible for foster care for 6 consecutive months in the home of the prospective legal guardian(s)
- Child must have been consulted regarding the guardianship plan
- Child must demonstrate a strong attachment to the prospective guardian
- Adoption and reunification must have been ruled out as appropriate permanency options
To be eligible for State funded guardianship assistance:
A child who is eligible for title IV-E assistance must be placed with a kin or fictive kin guardian or with a sibling who is related to the guardian.
Children who are a ward of the Department of Child Services or Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Status (JDJS) must meet the following criteria:
- Child is age 13 or older
- Child has been placed in a licensed relative home for at least 6 consecutive months
- Child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective relative guardian
- Court finds and states in an order compelling reasons for guardianship being the preferred permanency option
The Subsidized Guardianship Program is a consideration for a youth (age 14 or older) who is currently under juvenile court jurisdiction, and in the department's custody. Additionally, guardianship may be an option for a youth who is age 12 or older. The child must be a part of a sibling group and residing in the same home as a 14 year old or older sibling, who is in a guardianship arrangement with the family. Adoption and reunification must have been ruled out as appropriate permanency options. The youth must agree to the guardianship.
Permanent custodianship subsidy may be considered if one of the following criteria is met:
- The child is age 14 and over
- The child is part of a sibling group being placed together and one child is age 14 and over
- The child has an approval for an exception from the Director of Prevention and Protection Services or designee for other extenuating circumstances making adoption not a reasonable option.
The child must currently be in Kentucky’s Cabinet of Health and Family Services (CHFS) custody or must have been previously in the custody of CHFS for the current removal episode prior to the relative or fictive kin receiving temporary custody. In addition, the relative or fictive kin must not have yet obtained permanent custody through a permanent custody order. This includes cases that are currently closed.
The guardianship subsidy applies if the following criteria are met:
- Child is in the legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
- Child had an established familial or emotional relationship with kin prior to entering DCFS custody
- The kinship placement provider becomes a certified foster caregiver according to the certification standards of the State
- Child has resided in the certified kinship placement for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to entering the guardianship subsidy arrangement
A child who is placed in a permanency guardianship or in a similar status by a Native American tribe, when reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to place the child without guardianship subsidies and if the child would not be placed in a permanency guardianship without the assistance of the program.
Eligibility criteria for guardianship assistance may be found in the Maryland Department of Human Resources Administrative Code07.02.29 Guardianship Assistance Program.
To be eligible for a Title IV-E kinship guardianship subsidy, the following criteria must be met:
- Child is in the department's care or custody and is in placement
- Child was removed from her/his home pursuant to a Voluntary Placement Agreement or as a result of a judicial determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child
- Child was eligible for Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for at least a 6 consecutive month; during this period, child resided in the home of the prospective kinship guardian who was licensed as a department's foster/pre-adoptive family
- Child is a sibling of a Title IV-E eligible child and placed in the home of the same kinship guardian with the eligible child. The sibling’s guardianship need not be finalized at the same time as the eligible child’s guardianship. Sibling does not need to meet the agency requirements.
The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- Child has been removed from his or her home as a result of a judicial determination that allowing the child to remain in the home would be contrary to the child’s welfare
- Child has resided in the home of the prospective guardian for, at a minimum, 6 consecutive months
- Reunification and placing the child for adoption are not appropriate permanency options
- Child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective guardian and the guardian has a strong commitment to caring permanently for the child until the child reaches 18 years of age
- Child has reached 14 years of age, he or she has been consulted regarding the guardianship arrangement
Information may be found on the Minnesota Department of Human Services Program Resources.
The child must be under the age of 18 at the time of adoptive or legal guardianship placement. At the time of planning for adoption or legal guardianship, the child must meet one of the following circumstances: Be in the custody of the Children’s Division. Children in the care and custody of the Children’s Division are considered special needs, and are in turn automatically eligible for Missouri Adoption Subsidy; OR Be in the custody of a child-placing agency licensed in accordance with Section 4, Chapter 9 (Adoption and Guardianship Process), Subsection 6 – Subsidizing an Adoption/Legal Guardianship of the Child Welfare Manual.
Eligibility criteria for the Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program are defined in the Montana State Plan.
A child is eligible for the subsidized guardianship program if he/she is award of the Department and meets the criteria for guardianship as follows:
- The child has a documented behavioral, emotional, physical, or mental disability
- The child is a member of a sibling group of three or more to be placed together
- The child has a strong attachment to the potential guardian and has lived successfully for a minimum of six months in the home of the potential guardian
- The child cannot return home despite all efforts to effect reunification
- The child cannot be adopted and all attempts to terminate parental rights have failed or the termination is not in the child's best interest
- The child is age 12 or older or, if under 12, is part of a sibling group or is attached to the proposed guardian and cannot be freed for adoption and the prospective guardian and the child can function effectively without Department supervision.
The State of Nevada illustrates its KinGAP Policy in the Division of Child and Family Services State policy.
The provisions of the Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG) Subsidy Program and the Federal Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program are outlined in the New Jersey Department of Children and Families' Policy Manual.
Child means a person under the age of twenty-one years whose custody, care and custody, or custody and guardianship have been committed to a social services official prior to such person's eighteenth birthday.
A child is eligible for Guardianship Assistance (GAP) when
- Child has been removed from his/her home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as a result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child
- The Court determines that reunification and adoption are not appropriate permanency options for the child
- Child is eligible for foster care maintenance payments and has been placed in the licensed home of the prospective legal guardian for a minimum of 6 consecutive months
- Child is in the placement responsibility of a North Carolina county child welfare agency at the time of entry into the GAP
- Child is at least 14 years of age, but not older than 18 years of age, demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective guardian and has been consulted regarding the guardianship arrangement or, the child is not yet 14 years of age but is being placed in a legal guardianship arrangement with a sibling who meets the age requirement, or placed with a sibling who meets eligibility criteria
Children must be 12 or older (or placed with a sibling who is 12 or older) and must have been in foster care for at least six months. The case worker must have ruled out reunification and adoption.
Eligibility criteria for subsidized guardianship benefits are illustrated in detail in the Oklahoma Administrative Code .
A child in the care or custody of the Department or participating tribe is eligible for Title IV-E guardianship assistance payments when all the following requirements are met:
- The child must have been removed from the home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as a result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child
- The child is eligible for Title IV-E foster care payments
- The child is a United States citizen or qualified alien and is placed in the United States or a possession thereof
- The child is placed with a potential guardian who is considered a relative as defined by the Department The child must have resided in the home of the potential guardian for a period of at least six consecutive months during which the potential guardian was fully licensed, certified or approved by the state or a participating Tribe
- The Department determined that returning home or adoption are not appropriate permanency options for the child
- The child demonstrates a strong attachment to the potential relative guardian
- The child has special needs or is placed with a potential guardian who indicates an economic need to care for the child Specific information about eligibility for State funding assistance and additional details about the program may be found on the Oregon Department of Human Services website.
A child who meets all of the following:
- Has a court-ordered disposition of placement with a permanent legal custodian pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 6351(a)(2.1) (relating to disposition of dependent child)
- Has lived with an eligible permanent legal custodian for at least six months, which need not be consecutive
- Is a citizen or an alien lawfully residing in this Commonwealth
A child is eligible for the subsidized guardianship program if the following criteria are met:
- Child is removed pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement
- Judicial determination that remining I the home is detrimental to the child
- Child has been in the prospective home for 6 months
- Reunification or adoption are not an appropriate plan
- Child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective parent and the prospective parent has a strong commitment to caring for the child
- A child who is 14 years or older has been consulted regarding the guardianship agreement
The South Dakota DSS Website provides details on its website.
Criteria for determining eligibility are illustrated in the Tennessee Department of Children Services Subsidy Manual for Adoption Assistance And Subsidized Permanent Guardianship .
Texas' guardianship assistance program is called "Permanency Care Assistance". Eligibility criteria may be found in the Department of Family and Protective Services Policy Handbook 1600 Permanency Care Assistance.
Eligibility criteria for the guardianship program are outlined in the Department of Child and Families Services Practice Guidelines. See: A Guide for Caregivers .
Guidelines for determination of eligibility for guardianship assistance as well as other important information about the guardianship assistance program may be found in the Vermont Department for Children and Families Family Services Policy Manual .
Information about kinship guardianship criteria may be found in the Virginia Child and Family Services Manual.
Eligibility criteria may be found in the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families' Policies and Procedures 4340. Guardianships .
Legal guardianship should be considered for a child when the following conditions have been met:
- The permanency goals of reunification and adoption have been ruled out by the Multidisciplinary Treatment Team
- The child has resided with the prospective guardian for at least 6 months immediately prior to establishing legal guardianship and was eligible for foster care maintenance payments
- The guardianship home was certified or approved as meeting the requirements as a foster home during the 6 months prior to establishing legal guardianship
- The child must be at least 12 years old if he/she is in the home of an unrelated caretaker, unless the Multidisciplinary Treatment Team decides that it would be in the child’s best interest to do Legal Guardianship at a younger age
- The best interest determination must be documented in the child’s case plan
- The child must have a strong attachment to the prospective legal guardian and the guardian must have a strong commitment to caring permanently for the child
- The child who is 14 years of age or older, has been consulted regarding the guardianship arrangement
A child is eligible for the subsidized guardianship program if the following criteria are met:
- Child is placed in out-of-home care under a Voluntary Placement Agreement, or similar tribal court order
- Child has lived in the current home for 6 or more months
- Child is emotionally attached to the guardian
- Child is in agreement with the guardianship (if 14 years old or older)
- The agency must determine that reunification with parents and adoption are not in the child’s best interest
The following requirements need to be met before the legal guardianship is finalized:
- Child(ren)/youth is under 18 years of age and has been in the legal custody of DFS immediately prior to establishing the legal guardianship
- Child(ren)/youth has resided with the prospective legal guardian for at least 6 months immediately prior to filing the petition for legal guardianship and entering into a legal guardianship; however, the 6 months placement requirement may be waived for sibling groups when at least 1 sibling meets all legal guardianship requirements
- Reunification of the child(ren)/youth with his/her parent(s) and adoption has been ruled out as permanency goals despite reasonable efforts have been made to reunite the family or to seek adoption of the child(ren)/youth
- Child(ren)/youth has a strong attachment to the prospective legal guardian(s) and the prospective legal guardian(s) has a strong commitment to caring permanently for the child(ren)/youth
- Child(ren)/youth age 14 years of age and older has participated in creating the legal guardianship arrangement and signed the Family Service Plan
- The legal guardian(s) is able to support the child(ren)/youth financially or is able to with the assistance of a subsidy or other resources which may be available to the child(ren)/youth