Kinship Support

Kinship Caregivers - Grandparents, Aunts / Uncles, Cousins, Siblings, and Close Family Friends - are often raising our  children when parents are unable or unavailable to care for them.  According to the 2000 US Census, over 186,000 Grandparents in Ohio were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren, many caring from sibling groups.  According to ODJFS, in January of 2004, there were 63,166 children living with relative caregivers or legal custodians, and receiving Child Only TANF grants - cash assistance of $245/month, plus about $77 for each additional sibling in the household.  Public Children Services Agencies have custody each day of nearly 6,000 children that are placed in relative homes.  Clearly, these families are stepping up to care for Ohio's children when needed.  Below is a variety of information, resources, and links for further information.

New Kinship Permanency Incentive Program - effective January 1, 2006 new fiscal supports will be available for qualifying permanent kinship families.  A program description and actual budget language and allocated resources can be reviewed below.

HB 130 Grandparent Power of Attorney and Caregiver Affidavit forms - HB 130 created legal documentation to assist Grandparent Caregivers that have physical custody of their grandchildren, but not judicially awarded custody.  When properly completed, notarized and filed with the court, these forms will assist grandparents in enrolling grandchildren in school and participating as the parent; accessing routine and emergency medical and dental care.  In order to be legally viable, the forms available on this page must: (1) Be signed by a grandparent, and an official notary, (and a consenting parent in the case of Power of Attorney), (2) Be filed with your local juvenile court within five days of signing, (3) Contain no false statements.
Power of Attorney forms: For grandparent's whose children are authorizing the grandparent's power of attorney for their grandchild.
Caregiver Authorization Affidavit formFor grandparents caring for their grandchildren who are unable to locate the child's parent or parent's.

The following links also provide information and resources helpful for kinship caregivers: 

  • - This website provides information about resources and services for kinship caregivers in Ohio
  • Title IV-E Guardianship Waiver Evaluations
  • CDF-Ohio Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children Fact Sheet from Aug. 2003 
  • ODJFS kinship web page includes a Kinship Caregiver Resource Guide
  • Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care just released a report with significant recommendations about Child Welfare Federal Finance Reform and recommendations to Strengthen Courts.  One recommendation would allow use federal funds for subsidized guardianships when children exit foster care
  • Fostering Results is a national public education campaign to increase public awareness of issues related to Child Welfare Federal Finance Reform and Strengthening Courts
  • The Children and Family Research Center at the University of Illinois provides research related to child welfare outcomes, including a study of Subsidized Guardianships, showing it as an important tool for permanency for children (click on "News from CFRC")
  • The US Census Bureau has issued a report titled "Grandparents Living With Grandchildren 2000"
  • -The just released Fostering Results report, “Family Ties,” uses recently released 2002 federal data to estimate that 19,250 children in long term relative foster care in the U.S. are in “permanency limbo”– where a court has determined that they cannot be safely returned to their parents nor is adoption an option. According to the report, children adrift in foster care can find safety, permanence and security with grandparents and other caregivers as an alternative to remaining in foster care. While federal foster care funding can be used to support children in foster care or in adoptive homes, the so-called Title IV-E foster care funding cannot be used to support legal guardianship. Yet, the report found that when states were allowed to use “waivers” of federal foster care financing rules, and when they made use of other flexible funding dollars like TANF to offer federally subsidized guardianship, 9,636 foster children left foster care after one year for permanent homes with legal guardians including grandparents and other caregivers between 2000 and 2001. The study illustrates the benefits of having the option of federally subsidized guardianship available for children, families and the foster care system as a whole.