Kinship Care Information

NEW INFORMATION Foster Care –Ā Levels of Foster Care LicensureĀ Level I: Child-Specific Foster Home

This NEW licensure type is designed for relatives and non-relatives who have an existing relationship with the child from whom they are seeking licensure. When a child is not able to safely remain at home with their parents, a family or like-family member who is willing and able to provide care for the child, is the next best alternative. Contacts for this type of licensure are through your local Community Based Care Agencies

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NEW INFORMATION:Ā IfĀ you reside in Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas & Seminole CountiesĀ assistanceĀ is available through theĀ Children’s Home NetworkĀ (888) 920-8761. Includes assistance with benefits, support groups and more. Local contact emails and phone numbers can be found on their page.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Ā 1. What financial assistance is available for Relative caregivers?

There are three options available (each has eligibility requirements):

1. NEW Level 1 Licensure – for children placed in your home through the dependency system. Contact your local CBC for information

2. State of Florida Relative Caregiver Program – The children you are raising were brought to you by the Department of Children and Families and/or adjudicated dependent then you may be eligible. (See basic eligibility requirements by clicking the link) The child will be eligible for Medicaid. Information on how to apply is in question 4 below.

3. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF)/Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) – The child you are raising has not been through the dependency court system and adjudicated dependent. For example: You took your grandchildren into your care and did not call the childrenā€™s parent/s benefits. You can apply for child only TANF/TCA. This is a federal program and it only looks at the childā€™s income. The child is eligible for Medicaid.Ā Information on how to apply is in question 4 below.

2. How much financial assistance do I receive each month with the Florida – Relative Caregiver Program benefits?

The Florida Relative Caregiver program monthly benefit for EACH child is: Ā Age: 0-5 – $ 242.00 per child, age 6-12 Ā $249.00 per child, age 13 + Ā $298.00 per childĀ Information on how to apply is in question 4 below.

3. How much financial assistance do I receive each month with the child only TANF/TCA?

The monthly benefit is: $180.00 for 1 Child, $241.00 for 2 Children, $303.00 for 3 Children, $364.00 for 4 Children.Ā Information on how to apply is in question 4 below.

4. How do I apply for Relative Caregiver Benefits, TANF/TCA, Medicaid or Food Stamps?

Go toĀ http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida and fill out the application online, or go to an agency that is part of the Community ACCESS Network,

5. What about a child placed with relatives out of state?

Only children living in Florida and placed by the court in Florida are eligible for Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida. A child placed in Florida by a court in another state is not eligible.

6. My grandchildrenā€™s mother died and the children get social security. Will the social security they get affect the assistance I receive?

The state looks at the childrenā€™s income when determining benefits. If the child receives social security it is very likely the child will not qualify for the Relative Caregiver Funds or TANF.

7. What about a child placed with relatives out of state?

Only children living in Florida and placed by the court in Florida are eligible for Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida. A child placed in Florida by a court in another state is not eligible.

8. What if the parent moves in the home with children and the caregiver?

If the parent is in the home for 30 days or longer, eligibility for Relative Caregiver Funds ends.Ā Ā  Always follow the rules of parental involvement set by the court

9. Are stepparents eligible for Relative Care?

Only if they are divorced from the biological parent, otherwise, they are considered a parent as opposed to a relative caregiver.

10. How long does it take for benefits to begin?

The ESS worker had 45 days to complete the approval process. If the family is already receiving TCA, the Relative Caregiver benefits will be approved in about 10 days from receipt of the competed communication form. If not, it will take about 30 days to approve or deny the case and longer for the relative to actually receive the benefits.

11. Do I qualify for child care benefits?

If you are working and receive Relative Caregiver Benefits and/or the child has been adjudicated dependent you should receive subsidized daycare based on status, and are eligible for priority placements under the school readiness programs. The case manager will provide the referral for child care (you must have this referral when you sign up for subsidized child care). Once the case is closed you need to maintain your relative caregiver benefit, provide proof and re-certify annually.

12. What about post high school educational benefits?

A child who is receiving Relative Caregiver Benefits when he/she turns 18, may be eligible for tuition waiver at community colleges and vocational schools. Ā (reference s.1009.25, F.S., for more information.)

13. What about health care for the children?

Any child not living with parents is eligible for Medicaid.

14. What other services are available for my family? Where can I find out about them?

Services for relative caregivers are very limited and vary per county.

HELPFUL LINKSĀ 

Florida Access System – Application for benefits (Food Stamps, Cash, Medicaid) – application for benefits

Temporary Cash Assistance – additional information – information on benefits

Relative Caregiver Statutes in Florida

The Children’s Home Network (Larry Cooper)

Department of Elder Affairs – Kinship Support Information

Working with Kinship CaregiversĀ 

Caregiver Pamphlet from KidsFirst of Florda – great tool for relative placements

A Parent’s Guide to Juvenile Dependency Court (good for caregivers too)