Information on Kinship Care
Kinship Care occurs when a relative or adult who has a long-standing relationship with the family temporarily or permanently cares for a child. This can happen when the parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child full-time.
Once a child is formally placed with a relative or friend who is licensed as a foster parent, Children Services and not the caregiver maintains legal custody of the child. Children Services makes the most decisions concerning the child, including whether to keep the child in the caregiver's home. The caregiver does have certain daily responsibilities for the quality care of the child.
Help with Expenses
When the Kinship caregiver is not a relative or licensed foster parent, one way that the kinship caregiver can get Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits is to receive income only for the child in their care. In these cases, the Job Center does not take into account any of the caregiver's income or assets and provides money for the child only. These are called child-only cases. You will generally be able to receive this assistance until the child turns 18 years old or leaves your home.
Temporary Custody - The Juvenile Court awards temporary custody to a relative with custody lasting for one year unless the court ends it sooner. The court may also grant two 6-month extensions. Children Services will remain involved as long as the family member maintains temporary custody.
Parents retain the right to visit their child, be informed of medical conditions, be represented by an attorney, and consent to the case plan. After two years of temporary custody, a more permanent plan is necessary. The child can reunite with the parent(s), legal custody given to a relative or friend or the agency is granted permanent custody so the child can become eligible for adoption.
During a temporary custody arrangement, the relative may apply for OWF, a monthly cash assistance program. To be eligible, you must be related by blood or marriage, or be a legal guardian or custodian to the child in your care. Please call 844-640-6446 to apply for benefits.
Legal Custody - Juvenile Court awards legal custody to relatives or non-relatives until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever is later. The legal custodian can obtain an attorney to petition the court for adoption. These proceedings can be lengthy and require the parent's consent.
Biological or adoptive parents can still see the child and remain obligated to provide financial support. They have the right to petition the court to regain custody and to receive notice of any legal proceedings.
A relative or non-relative may apply for OWF. Please call 844-640-6446 to apply for benefits.
When Juvenile Court severs parent(s) rights and permanent custody is given to Children Services. The parents can appeal the decision through an attorney. Once the court decision is affirmed, the child becomes available for adoption and is placed in the most appropriate adoptive home. That placement is supervised by the agency for at least six months before the adoption is finalized in Probate Court.
A child may be eligible for a medical card and subsidy if the child has "special needs." Special needs are medical needs, a physical/mental disability, a Caucasian child over the age of 6, African-American Children over the age of 12 months, or sibling groups, any child 14 years or older. If there are no special needs, financial assistance is not offered.
Every child deserves a permanent, stable, and loving home. Kinship Care is one way to make it happen.