FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has begun financial assistance payments to eligible relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by the state.
An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and are paid a daily rate.
The ruling also includes fictive kin - close family friends - who provide foster care for children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Payment amounts vary depending on a child's needs but will average about $750 a month per child. CHFS began making payments to the original plaintiffs in the ruling in early December.
Beginning later this month, CHFS will issue payments to approximately 15 other relative and fictive kin caregivers who have already inquired about payments and whose eligibility was determined under the ruling.
Kentucky officials estimate the court ruling will affect about 1,590 children whose relatives will receive about $14 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1. Costs would increase to $15 million the following year for assistance for about 1,700 children.
Specialists have been assigned to review cases to determine eligibility. According to the ruling, relative and fictive kin caregivers are treated like foster parents if the CHFS Department for Community Based Services places the child with the relative and has conducted a home study and background checks, and if CHFS either retains custody or has transferred the child from CHFS’ custody to the temporary custody of the relative or fictive kin.
Under the ruling, these relative and fictive kin caregivers qualify for a foster care per diem – or daily payment - for the care of the child.
People who think they might be eligible for these payments can call the Cabinet for Health and Family Services at 877-565-5608 or email DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov.