Standards of Practice
Table of Contents
650 – Introduction to Kinship Care
SOP 651 – Family Support’s Role in Kinship Care
SOP 652 – Child Support’s Role in Kinship Care
SOP 653 – Child Care’s Role in Kinship Care
SOP 654 – Program Codes for Kinship Care
SOP 655 – Definition of Caregiver Relative for Kinship Care
SOP 656 – Goal for Kinship Care
SOP 657 – Role of Interstate Compact in Kinship Care
SOP 658 – Tracking and Documentation for Kinship Care
SOP 659 – Allocation of Funds for Kinship Care
SOP 660 – Kinship Care Logs
SOP 661 – Kinship Care Placement
SOP 662 – Referrals Accepted for Kinship Care
SOP 663 - Ineligibility Criteria for Kinship Care
SOP 664 – Eligibility Criteria for Kinship Care
SOP 665 – Relative Home Evaluation for Kinship Care
SOP 666 – Start-Up Costs for Kinship Care
SOP 667 – Case Planning and Ongoing Services for Kinship Care Cases
SOP 668 – Referral for Child Care for Kinship Care Cases
SOP 669 – Respite for Kinship Care
SOP 670 – Court Actions Related to Kinship Care Cases
SOP 671 – Appeals Process for Kinship Care
SOP 672 – Case Closure and Aftercare Planning for Kinship Care Cases
(Note: All Standards of Practice numbers assigned are temporary
650 - Introduction to Kinship Care
Care Program has been established to facilitate permanency for children
who have been or may be removed from their home. Kinship Care
is an alternative to foster care placement and is provided to children
who may otherwise be placed by the Cabinet in foster care due to:
of both parents; or
A substantiated finding of abuse or neglect by the Cabinet per
KRS 600.020(l); or by another state that arranges for placement
of a child per the Interstate Compact, and;
has been made that placement with a relative versus a non-relative
is in the best interest of the child, and;
The child meets
all of the eligibility TANF requirements in 921 KAR 2:006.
A child in Kinship Care is eligible
for a $250 education bonus upon graduation from high school.
three (3) primary agencies involved in the Kinship Care Program are
the Divisions of Family Support, Child Support and Protection and
Permanency. Child Care resources may also be a critical component
to the Kinship Care Program. Kinship Care is not an entitlement
program. Kinship Care Administrative Regulation:
Kinship Care Program is funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) and the monthly payments are issued through Family
Family Support Worker has thirty (30) calendar days from the date
of application (KIM-77) to approve the family and provide notification
of the disposition of the application to the Social Service Worker,
Child Support Worker and, when appropriate, to the Child Care Worker.
, Family Support Operation Manual, MS 5000 – MS 5100)
Support requirements have to be met for the caregiver relative to
be approved for Kinship Care. The caregiver relative caregiver
is required to cooperate with Child Support staff to pursue child
support from the parents provided that a good cause exception does
not exist per 922 KAR 2:006, Section 16 (http://cfc.state.ky.us/agencies/Comm_Base/Child_Support/index.asp)
caregiver relative caregiver is unwilling to pursue child support
or sign the KC-01, Statement of Rights and
Responsibilities (MS Word), the caregiver
relative is not to be considered for the Kinship Care Program.
If the caregiver relative fails to cooperate with Child Support staff
after approval, the Kinship Care funds are reduced by 25%.
Care referral or arrangements may be made if the caregiver relative
needs assistance with child care. Federal guidelines state that
child care funds may not be used to pay for respite. Child day
care is defined as the provision of essential child care for a portion
of a day on a regular basis and is designed to supplement, but not
substitute for, the family’s responsibility for the child’s protection,
development and supervision. Child Care may be provided but not for
a continuous 24 hour time period. The child care provider shall
meet all of the Child Care standards prior to providing services in
a Kinship Care case. Child Care Standards: http://cfc.state.ky.us/agencies/Comm_Base/Child_Care
for the Child Care Bureau: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/ccb/policy1/current/ccdbgact/index.htm
SOP 654 - Program Codes for Kinship
Standards of Practice, Social Service Worker means any staff who conduct
assessments and other related activities in the Kinship Care Program
including specialists . The Social Services Workers are to use
code ZAGV for Kinship Care case activities. The Family Support
Workers are to use ZAGS for eligibility determination.
caregiver relative for the Kinship Care Program is defined as an adult
who is related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption.
SOP 656 - Goal of Kinship
The ultimate goal of Kinship Care
is permanent custody with a caregiver relative if returning the child
to the parent(s) is not a viable option. The SSW is to continue
to work with the birth parent(s) in an attempt to reunite the child
with the parents during the six (6) months prior to the court report.
If it is determined that the best interest of the child is permanent
custody with a caregiver relative, the SSW is to make this recommendation
to the court.
In cases that involve the Interstate
Compact, the sending state has to submit an ICPC-100A to Kentucky
for the purposes of a relative placement and the Deputy Compact Administrator
in Kentucky signs the ICPC-100A. For all relative placements
call 502-564-6852 and for all adoptive interstate placements call
502-564-2147. Unless both states have signed the ICPC-100A then
there is not an interstate agreement.
The state placing the child with
a Kentucky caregiver relative has to do so in accordance with the
Interstate Agreement and has to provide verification of a substantiated
finding of abuse or neglect. If a caregiver relative with permanent
custody of a child or a caregiver relative who had been receiving
Kinship Care benefits in another state moves to Kentucky, the relative
is not eligible for Kinship Care benefits unless the Interstate Agreement
has been utilized.
SOP 658 - Tracking and Documentation
for Kinship Care
Each Service Region is to develop
procedures for referral and tracking of Kinship Care cases.
The information to be tracked, includes but is not limited to:
The number of permanent
many cases are resulting in permanency?
much money is being spent?
Service Region establishes a monthly log and documents in the log
the following information:
of children per check
issued or refused
Number and amount
of cases where caregiver relative wants permanent custody but can
not afford an attorney
SRA or designee is to forward a copy of the monthly log statistics
to the Director, Division of Protection and Permanency.
SOP 659 - Allocation of Funds
for Kinship Care
The reallocation of funds is
at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department for Community
Based Services. Kinship Care funds are not to be transferred
between Service Regions.
SOP 660 - Kinship Care Logs
The Service Regions are to submit
a copy of the log, copies of invoices or receipts, copies of the checks
issued, and request for reimbursement with the program code (ZFDL)
to the Director’s Office in the Office of Program Support, by the
7th of each month. All records are maintained for
a minimum of five(5) years. The Service Region Administrator
or designee is responsible for all aspects of the Kinship Care Program
including the dispersal of funds and record keeping. Kinship
Monthly Logs forms on Forms Page.
SOP 661 - Kinship Care Placement
Social Service Worker (SSW) is to consider Kinship Care on every child
at risk of placement in foster care and it is to be documented in
the case record that this program was discussed as an option for the
SOP 662 - Referrals Accepted
for Kinship Care
The SSW is to accept all inquires
for Kinship Care from all interested relatives.
of Kinship Care payments continue until the case becomes ineligible
for a technical or financial reason. Permanent custody does
not stop the payments; that is the desired result/outcome.
following are some examples of technical or financial issues, which
may cause ineligibility:
If the caregiver relative adopts the child, the Kinship
Care payments will stop as we do not make a payment under Kinship
Care to parents;
The child may age
reaching age 16
and not attending school,
reaching age 18
and not attending school at or below the high school level full-time,
reaching age 19;
The caregiver relative may move
out-of-state, which would make the caregiver relative ineligible since
residency is a requirement, or;
If the child had
too much income from another source, the Kinship Care payment
will be discontinued.
If a caregiver relative refuses
to accept permanent custody, the caregiver relative becomes ineligible
for Kinship Care but may be eligible for other benefits provide by
state operated programs.
a child receives Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), the child
is not eligible for Kinship Care funds.
If a child leaves Kinship Care
without good cause, the child becomes ineligible for Kinship Care.
(LINK 921 KAR 2:006, Section 10 (2).
If the SSW determines that the
child’s parent(s) is residing in the same household with the caregiver
relative, the caregiver relative is not eligible for Kinship Care.
If the child is reunited with
a birth parent eligibility for the Kinship Care Program ceases upon
The SSW is to notify Family Support
and request that the Kinship Care payment case is to be discontinued,
if Kinship Care payments have been received for twelve (12) months
and the caregiver relative has not pursued permanent custody.
The SSW is to assess with the
caregiver relative that the caregiver relative has been pursuing permanent
custody. In assessing the caregiver relative’s attempts at obtaining
permanent custody, the SSW documents that the:
SSW and caregiver relative have attempted to obtain
permanent custody through District or Family Court; or,
SSW has sought assistance from
an attorney with the Office of the General Counsel on behalf of the
caregiver relative; or,
The caregiver relative has consulted
with a private attorney regarding obtaining permanent custody through
District, Family or Circuit Court; or,
The SSW has been notified by the
Office of the General Counsel that an attorney has agreed to file
petition or motion on behalf of the Cabinet.
SOP 664 - Eligibility Requirements
for Kinship Care
The Kinship Care program applies
only when risk of removal by the Cabinet is imminent. A child
is at risk of placement in foster care if a petition has been filed
by the Cabinet for removal of the child and,
one of the following conditions exist:
An investigation is
in the process and abuse or neglect will be substantiated; or,
ongoing case where abuse or neglect has been substantiated; or
state is placing a child through the Interstate Compact.
dependency petition has to be filed for the child to be eligible for
the Kinship Care program, if both parents are deceased.
a child is currently in foster care and the SSW has identified a potential
relative placement, the child may be eligible for Kinship Care upon
temporary custody being granted by the court to the relative.
A court’s finding does not impact
the eligibility for Kinship Care. In cases when the SSW’s finding
is not the same as the court’s finding, the SSW is to enter into TWIST
the court’s adjudication in the Investigative Summary Screen stating
the reason the Cabinet’s finding is different from the court’s finding.
caregiver relative, in all cases, has to meet the technical eligibility
requirements for TANF benefits. (921 KAR
A SSW is to determine if the
caregiver relative is qualified and willing to take permanent custody
of the child prior to placement with the relative.
The caregiver relative is approved
through a home evaluation including passing a criminal records check
and a child and adult abuse and neglect check. If the potential
caregiver relative has a conviction, on a charge other than a traffic
offense that is minor, or substantiation of a child and/or adult abuse
or neglect, the caregiver relative shall provide rehabilitation evidence.
The caregiver relative may demonstrate rehabilitation evidence through
written character references.
shall document evidence of rehabilitation through, at a minimum, two
(2) character references. The worker is not to accept character
references from those who are excluded by the Kinship Care Administrative
Regulation. The Service Region Administrator or designee has final
approval of applicants who have a legal history but demonstrate rehabilitation.
the following situation and conditions exist a caregiver relative
may be eligible for Kinship Care without the Cabinet having filed
a petition for removal:
The Cabinet has not
received a report alleging child abuse or neglect; but,
court has adjudicated neglect or abuse based on a petition filed by
a relative; and,
relative is requesting Kinship Care and alleging child abuse or neglect.
this situation and conditions exist, the SSW:
Determines if the allegation
meets acceptance criteria;
the report, if the allegation(s) meets acceptance criteria;
a determination of the allegations (Kinship Care requires a substantiated
finding of abuse or neglect);
during the investigation if a child was at risk of removal and placement
in foster care;
for review by the FSOS the court documents and the SSW’s investigative
findings and documents that if DCBS had been aware of the allegations
when the relative filed the petition, a petition for removal would
have been filed by DCBS;
that the allegations were reported within forty-five (45) days of
the petition being filed; and,
the relative to Family Support for determination on technical eligibility
requirements for TANF benefits.
a caregiver relative to remain eligible for Kinship Care funds, the
Kinship Care case has to be recertified on an annual basis by Family
Support. The SSW is to inform the caregiver relative of the
need for recertification. If the caregiver relative does not
keep the scheduled appointed with the Family Support Worker, the Kinship
Care case will be discontinued by Family Support. If the Kinship
Care case is discontinued by Family Support and the caregiver relative
requests that they continue to receive Kinship Care funds for the
child in their care, the SSW is to treat this case as a new request
for Kinship Care. For recertification purposes only, the SSW
is to assess the caregiver relative under the Standards of Practice
that were operational at the time the initial application was made
for Kinship Care.
The SSW completes a Child Abuse
and Neglect (CA/N) Registry check, adult abuse and neglect check,
and an AOC check for each relative applying to provide Kinship Care
for a child.
may request a finger print check in addition to the AOC records check.
SSW is to conduct a criminal record check for each state of residence
when a family has resided out of the state of Kentucky within the
past ten (10) years prior to approval for Kinship Care.
The SSW may use the regional
checking sub-fund to pay for Kinship Care out-of-state criminal records
check. If the SSW utilizes this method for payment for out-of-state
criminal record checks, the Region
Log for Out-of-State Criminal Records Checks Form is to be submitted to:
of Financial Management
and Reporting Branch
East Main Street, 4C-B
The SSW may submit the CHR-101
using the ZAGS code to Office of Program Support for payment for out-of-state
criminal record checks. If the Service Region has made other
arrangements for payment for out-of-state criminal records checks
that are not problematic the regions may continue to utilize these
budget code (ZAGS – Kinship Care Eligibility Determination code) for
using the sub-fund account from the regional checking account or the
CHR – 101 process is the same.
the SSW still has concerns, after the record checks, the SSW is to
consult with the FSOS before making a recommendation for the relative
to be approved as a caregiver relative for the child.
is to have the relative sign the KC-01, Kinship Care Statement of
Rights and Responsibilities and the KIM-77 at the time the home study
is initiated. The SSW is to send the signed completed
KIM-77 and the KC-01, “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” to
the designated Family Support Worker within three (3) working days
of obtaining the signatures. One of the purposes of the KIM-77
is to protect the filing date for the relative’s application for Kinship
SOP 665 - Relative Home Evaluation
for Kinship Care
The SSW is to complete a relative
home study when a relative makes application for Kinship Care and
shall determine if a relative for Kinship Care is approved through
an assessment utilizing the Relative Home Evaluation Outline.
The SSW is to include in the Relative
Home Evaluation the need for Start-Up
costs, and, if so, the recommended
amount and purpose for which the funds will be used, if granted, by
the caregiver relative.
The SSW has thirty (30) calendar
days to complete the Relative Home Evaluation.
The SSW who conducted the home
evaluation submits a brief written statement to the Family Support
Worker after the home evaluation is completed, stating whether or
not the relative was approved or disapproved for Kinship Care placement.
The SSW is to notify the Family
Support Worker orally or by written communication when the caregiver
relative is approved for Kinship Care. It is not necessary to
provide the Family Support Worker with a copy of the Relative Home
SSW is to consider the relative’s:
to protect the child from abuse or neglect;
that they are to seek permanent custody;
and ability to pay legal fees involved in gaining permanent custody;
to, abilities and functional abilities to provide for the ongoing
care of the child, including emotional, cognitive and functional;
The SSW is to determine if Start-Up
Costs are needed based upon the immediate and critical needs of a
child. Immediate is defined as ninety (90) days after the child
is residing in the caregiver relative’s home. The need for Start-Up
Costs, the amount and purpose is to be documented in the Relative
Home Evaluation. The Start-Up Costs are to be paid directly
to the vendor, not the family. Use the Regional Log for Start Up
Form. (MS Excel format)
SSW determines that a one (1) time Start-Up Cost, based on the Relative
Home Evaluation Outline, is needed it shall be provided for the purpose
of meeting the immediate and critical (within 90 days of placement
in the home) needs of the child. The FSOS is to review the
Home Evaluation and may approve Start-up Costs for the following items:
may be purchased only after the community resources have been accessed;
which may be purchased only after the school has issued a list of
needed supplies and the caregiver relative has accessed a Family Resources
and Youth Services Center for supplies (FRYSC) ;
which has been determined to be needed in the home evaluation, or;
A deposit for a living arrangement.
The SSW is to disregard the caregiver’s
income and resources. The maximum amount for Start-Up Cost:
|Number of Eligible Children
Maximum Payment Amount
|6 or more
SOP 667 - Case Planning and Ongoing Services for
Kinship Care Cases
The SSW is to develop a concurrent
plan for reunification with the parent(s) if at all viable and permanent
custody with the Kinship caregiver relative in all Kinship Care cases.
A Kinship Care case is a child protection case. The SSW
is to open only one case in TWIST. If the caregiver relative
resides in a different county from the birth parent, the Social Service
Workers are to share the case. The primary case responsibility
remains in the county where the birth parent(s) resides until the
child returns home or the caregiver relative is granted permanent
develops a Family Case Plan with the caregiver relative and others,
as appropriate, when a case is opened for Kinship Care.
The SSW is to coordinate with the caregiver relative to attend and
participate in all planning conferences. If attempts to reunify
the child with birth parents are unsuccessful, the goal becomes permanent
custody to the caregiver relative. (LINK to Chapter 5, Case
is required to have an Out-of-Home Care Case Plan in TWIST for all
children who are in the Cabinet’s custody, regardless of their placement.
This includes Kinship Care cases when the Cabinet has custody.
The SSW is to follow procedures established under Permanency Planning
for Children in Out-of-Home Care. (LINK to Chapter 6, Ongoing
Services, Out-of-Home Care)
follows the procedures for an In-Home Family Case Plan for a child
placed in the custody of relatives by the court as a result of abuse
or neglect and substantiated by the Cabinet. Any special needs
the child has may be addressed as individual level objectives (ILOs)
for the child.
reassesses the caregiver relative using the Continuous Quality Assessment
(CQA) and holds a case planning conference to update the Family Case
Plan, if the child is placed in the custody of a caregiver relative
after the Family Case Plan has been developed. The updated Family
Case Plan includes any revision in needs and services to be provided
for the child placed in the custody of the caregiver relative.
The SSW is to open only one case
in TWIST for Kinship Care. All applicable members and their
relationships are entered into TWIST.
SSW is to include the following documents or information:
A copy of the petition
filed in District or Family Court;
CPS referral that necessitated the Kinship Care placement;
To provide to the
Child Placement and Support Section, for entry into the Resource Directory
in TWIST, the caregiver relative’s:
Date of birth
providing this information, the SSW is to complete the placement information
for the child on the Enter/Exit Screens. If the Cabinet has
custody of the child, the Level of Care field is to be Kinship Care
– agency has custody. If the caregiver relative has custody,
the selection in Level of Care field is Kinship Care – relative has
custody. TWIST will not allow a worker to close the case unless
an exit date has been entered on the Enter/Exit Screens. (Kinship Care/TWIST Tipsheet)
is to follow the Standards of Practice including timeframes for opening
an Ongoing Service, In-Home Service case.
(Chapter 6, Ongoing Services, In-Home
The SSW is to follow the Family
Case Plan requirements and timeframes in all Kinship Care cases. (Chapter 4, Case
The Family Case Plan is to delineate
the arrangements for visitation specifically with other family members
who placed the child at risk, and should include the duration
of visits. The Family Case Plan is to be updated when a change
occurs in the household composition as designated in the case planning
Standards of Practice. (Chapter 5, Family Case Plan,
SSW shall provide Ongoing In-Home Services to the family receiving
Kinship Care until the caregiver relative has permanent custody of
the child or for a minimum of six months beginning with the date of
placement. (Ongoing In Home Services
SSW needs to assure that the child has received age-appropriate instruction
regarding pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, and general information
about the prevention and treatment of disease.
SSW shall after six (6) months from the initial date of entry into
home of the caregiver relative receiving Kinship Care:
Review the placement to determine if Kinship Care is still
in the best interest of the child;
Prepare a court report with recommendation(s) regarding permanent
Make a request that the case be re-docketed for the court to
determine permanent custody per 922 KAR 1:130, Section 2(8)
(Adobe PDF format)
SSW is to address the following in the court report:
with caregiver relative caregiver;
support issues, and;
medical and/or counseling services needed by the child.
child was placed in the home of a caregiver relative by another state
through the Interstate Compact, the SSW is to provide Ongoing In-Home
Services for six (6) months or until permanent custody is achieved
from the time the caregiver relative is approved by DCBS.
If a caregiver relative is not
pursuing permanent custody at the end of twelve (12) months the SSW
Take the case back
to court for review with a recommendation for permanency; and
Notify the Family
Support Worker and request discontinuance of Kinship Care payment.
SOP 668 - Referral for Child Care
for Kinship Care Cases
When a SSW determines that a referral
for child care is needed, the initial referral is made using the DCC-85
and identifies the case as a Kinship Care case. A copy of the KIM-77
is to be attached to the child care referral. The SSW enters
the income for the child in the section for income information, listing
only the child’s income. The co-payment in Kinship Care cases
may be waived.
If a SSW wants to check for child
care eligibility for other children in the home for other types of
cases, check the Child Care Website.
SOP 669 - Respite for Kinship
The SSW may, through supervisory
channels, request Respite for the caregiver relative caregiver only
as a last resort to prevent disruption of the placement by completing
the KC – 02, “Kinship Care Respite Request”
Form. The Respite
request is submitted to the Director of the Division of Protection
and Permanency for a case by case review. Only the Director of Division
of Protection and Permanency has the authority to approve payments
for Respite. Respite Care is defined as continuous care for a period
of at least twenty-four (24) hours for this Standard of Practice.
SSW is to request re-docketing of the case when a caregiver relative
informs the SSW that the caregiver relative will not be pursuing permanent
and/or caregiver relative may request that permanent custody be granted
in District Court without the assistance of an attorney. Consultation
with the regional attorney, Office of the General Counsel, may be
sought to facilitate the process for permanent custody.
SSW has difficulty with the court in obtaining permanent custody or
if the court denies permanent custody, the SSW may seek assistance
from the regional attorney. If the SSW wants to appeal the court’s
decision, the SSW is to seek consultation with the regional attorney
within forty-eight (48) hours. (Chapter 3, Investigation
and Assessment, SOP 153, Determination of Findings, CPS)
the caregiver relative is not able to pay for an attorney, the court
has refused to grant permanent custody in District Court and the case
may need to go to the Circuit Court, the SSW may seek assistance from
the regional attorney.
If at the six (6) month court
review, the court granted permanent custody of the child to a caregiver
relative, concurrent planning is no longer necessary; therefore, the
SSW is not required to work with the birth parent(s). If permanent
custody is not granted, the SSW is to continue to work with the birth
parent(s) toward reunification until permanent custody with the caregiver
relative has been granted either through District, Family or Circuit
Court or reunification with the birth parent(s) occur. If the
birth parent(s) is not cooperating, or complying with the case plan,
the SSW may request that the court make a determination that reasonable
efforts for reunification are not necessary. If the judge determines
that reasonable efforts for reunification are no longer necessary,
the SSW is not required to continue to work with the birth parent(s).
SSW advises the parent(s) who is unsatisfied with the goal of permanent
custody with the caregiver relative caregiver that the parent may
seek and obtain legal counsel.
SSW is to notify the birth parent(s) of any court action concerning
the custody of the child including attempting to locate an absent
parent. (LINK to Chapter 4, Court, Absent Parent Search)
SOP 671 - Appeals Process for
When a SSW denies an applicant
or recipient for the Kinship Care program, the caregiver relative
is to be informed of the Appeals process.
Appeals process may be initiated through either the Division of
Protection and Permanency or Family Support. 921 KAR 2:055,
Hearings and Appeals, and 922 KAR 1:320, Fair Hearing, contain the
rights of clients to address their grievances through a formal process.
The Family Support Operations Manual Volume I, Sections contains
complete instructions for staff. The following links contain instruction
for Social Services Workers. (LINK to KAR/KRS for Service
SOP 672 - Case Closure and Aftercare
Planning for Kinship Care Cases
is to develop with the caregiver relative caregiver an Aftercare Plan
prior to closing the case. (Chapter 10,
Aftercare Planning and Case Closure)
Plan addresses any ongoing issues that relate to the family’s needs
for the safety, well-being of the child and stability.
issues may include:
guidelines with parents;
the child needs to continue to receive such as counseling; and,
to medical services.
is to notify the caregiver relative caregiver of changes in services
or notification of case closure using the DPP-154A at least two (2)
weeks prior to a change or case closure. The SSW is to provide
the DPP-154 to the caregiver relative when a case is to be closed.
is to provide written notification to workers in all other program
areas providing services of the SSW’s plan to close the case.
Table of Contents | Kinship
Care Tip Sheet
Other Standards of Practice Sections: