Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

0100-520.35 | Revision Date: 04/20/16

Overview

This policy guide provides guidelines around the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program, including eligibility requirements, rates and benefits information.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Kin-GAP Program

Brazwell v. Wagner Court Ruling (Dependency or Delinquency)

Definition of "Relative" for Federal Kin-GAP

Recommending Kin-GAP

Kin-GAP Eligibility

State Kin-GAP Payment/Benefits Beyond Age 18

Federal Kin-GAP Payments/Benefits Beyond Age 18

Sibling Eligibility

Income

Assets

Children Under Voluntary Placement Agreement with a Relative

Conversion/Re-Assessment of Existing Kin-GAP Cases

Kin-GAP Payment Rates and Benefits

Specialized Care Increment (SCI) Eligibility

Dual Agency Rate Eligibility

Whole Family Foster Home/Teen Parent

Clothing Allowance

Independent Living Services (ILP)

Medi-Cal

Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Kin-GAP Expenses

Out-of-County Kin-GAP Placements

Out-of-State Kin-GAP Placements

Successor Guardian in the Federal Kin-GAP Program

Alternate or Co-Guardianships

WIC 388 Petitions Involving Kin-GAP Cases

Procedure

Evaluating the Appropriateness of Kin-GAP

CSW Responsibilities

Relative Legal Guardianship is Ordered at the WIC 366.26 Hearing

CSW Responsibilities

DI SCSW/SCSW Responsibilities

A Child is Placed in Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (PPLA) with a Relative

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

The Court has Jurisdiction of a Child who Lives with a Relative Legal Guardian

CSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide has been updated from the 12/23/14 version per ACL 15-66 to include information and instructions regarding the new provisions of the federally-funded Kin-GAP Program when the current relative is replaced with a successor guardian. Federal law now provides for the continuation of the Title IV-E Kin-GAP eligibility if the relative guardian dies or is incapacitated and the successor legal guardian is named in the agreement, or amendments to the agreement. The SOC 369A has been revised to allow a successor guardian to be identified.

POLICY

Kin-GAP Program

All new Kin-GAP referrals must comply with the provisions of ACL 11-15 and ACL 14-28 to determine benefits under the new federally funded or state funded Kin-GAP programs.  Staff must collaborate closely with the Kin-GAP EW/Unit to ensure that new Kin-GAP cases are processed timely and seamlessly.

Brazwell v. Wagner Court Ruling (Dependency or Delinquency)

The Juvenile Court in California governs both delinquency and dependency cases.  The Brazwell v. Wagner court ruling recognized two distinct divisions within juvenile court jurisdiction and therefore, two routes to Kin-GAP eligibility.  One route is kinship guardianship created through dependency with jurisdiction of the court being terminated through dependency system.  The other is kinship guardianship created through delinquency with jurisdiction of the court being terminated through delinquency system.  A child who is eligible for Kin-GAP benefit through a guardianship created in dependency court is not disqualified from receiving Kin-GAP benefits when he/she subsequently becomes involved with the delinquency system, i.e., wardship/probation established.  Kin-GAP benefits to the guardian are stopped only for the period of removal.  Thus, when the child is returned to the guardian, the Kin-GAP payments will be resumed.

Definition of "Relative" for Federal Kin-GAP

California took advantage of federal flexibility in allowing states to broadly define relatives for federal Kin-GAP purposes and amended Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) section 11391(c), to define a "relative" as any of the following:

 

  1. An adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, step-siblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words "great," "great-great," or "grand" or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

 

  1. An adult who meets the definition of an approved, nonrelated extended family member, as described in WIC Section 362.7.

 

  1. An adult who is either a member of the Indian child's tribe, or an Indian custodian, as defined in Section 1903(6) of Title 25 of the United States Code.

 

  1. An adult who is the current foster parent of a child under the juvenile court's jurisdiction, who has established a significant and family-like relationship with the child, and the child and the county child welfare agency, probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement pursuant to WIC Section 10553.1 identify this adult as the child's permanent connection.

 

Number (1) above is the "traditional" relative or kin; numbers (2), (3), and (4) are termed "fictive" relative or kin by the State.

Recommending Kin-GAP

The decision to recommend the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment program (Kin-GAP) is based on the best interests of the child and the relative's ability and willingness to provide a permanent home for the child.  As each family's situation is unique, the decision regarding a child's permanent plan must include a documented assessment by the case-carrying CSW and the Adoption and Permanency Resources Division (APRD) CSW who completed the most recent and up-to-date Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA).  Mutual agreement must exist between DCFS and the relative caregiver that Kin-GAP is the appropriate permanent plan and a prospective relative legal guardian must be adequately informed about legal guardianship and Kin-GAP prior to the legal guardianship being established.  The provision of, discussion about and completion of the SOC 369, Agency Relative Guardianship Disclosure, SOC 369A, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Amendment Agreement satisfy this mandate.

 

In addition, if the plan is for kinship guardianship, the case plan must document how the child meets the kinship guardianship eligibility requirements, per WIC 16501.1.

 

Before recommending Kin-GAP guardianship and termination of jurisdiction, CSWs must ensure that all of the following are satisfied:

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Kin-GAP Eligibility

In order to qualify for either the federal or state funded Kin-GAP programs a child must meet all of the following criteria:

 

 

 

 

DCFS must document in the assessment/guardianship study, pursuant to WIC 366.21(i) or WIC 361.5(g), all of the following:

 

A copy of the assessment/guardianship study (WIC 366.26 court report) must be included in the initial Kin-GAP referral packet.

State Kin-GAP Payment/Benefits Beyond Age 18

A former dependent child or ward of the juvenile court who reached sixteen (16) years of age before the Kin-GAP payments were commenced is eligible for extended Kin-GAP payments and benefits beyond eighteen (18) years of age if the youth meets one or more of the following conditions and the youth signing the KG1, Kin-GAP Mutual Agreement for 18 Years Old:

 

  1. Completing high school or equivalent program (GED); or

 

  1. Enrolled in college, community college or a vocational program; or

 

  1. Participating in a program to remove barriers to employment; or

 

  1. Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or

 

  1. Unable to do one of the above requirements, due to a medical condition.

 

See Kinship Supportive Services, for more information on the Kin-GAP age extension and re-assessment process and for more information on the age extension for nonminor dependents.

 

See the Extended Foster Care: Re-Entry policy, for more information on how a former dependent under Kin-GAP whose former guardian(s) died after the nonminor attained eighteen (18) years of age, but before the age of twenty-one (21) may re-enter dependency and participate in the Extended Foster Care Program.

Federal Kin-GAP Payments/Benefits Beyond Age 18

When a federally eligible child/youth enters the Kin-GAP Program with a legal guardian who is a fictive relative, the child's eligibility for benefits is similar to that of a child/youth who enters a guardianship with a traditional relative. Specifically:

 

 

If a child was under the age of 16 when the negotiated agreement was effective and does not have a medical or mental health condition, the child is eligible to receive federal Kin-GAP benefits until the child/youth turns 18-years-old.  Upon turning 18-years-old, this youth loses eligibility for federal Kin-GAP, but is eligible to receive non-federal AFDC-FC benefits up to age 21, assuming the legal guardian continues to be responsible for the support of the youth and the youth is meeting at least one of the continued participation criteria.  This section applies only to a youth who was in receipt of federal Kin-GAP upon reaching the age of 18-years-old and whose legal guardianship was established by the juvenile court with a fictive relative.

 

The following relatives do not meet the federal definition of "fictive" relatives under the following circumstances:

Sibling Eligibility

The Federal Kin-GAP program provides that the responsible agency and relative may agree that any sibling(s) of the existing Title IV-E Kin-GAP eligible child may be placed in the same kinship guardianship arrangement and that such arrangement for the sibling(s) is appropriate.  Upon reaching this agreement, the agency may make Federal Kin-GAP payments pursuant to a kinship guardianship agreement on behalf of each sibling of a Title IV-E eligible child who is placed with the same relative under the same kinship guardianship arrangement regardless of the Title IV-E eligibility status of the siblings as long as one child is Title IV-E eligible (WIC Section 11388).  There is no requirement that the siblings be placed simultaneously.  This eligibility guideline includes step-siblings, half-siblings and adoptive siblings of the eligible child.

Income

For both the state and federally funded Kin-GAP Programs, AB 12 applies the exemption for earned income of a dependent child or ward meeting specified conditions set forth in WIC Section 11008.15.  For a child who doesn't meet these conditions, earned and unearned income is to be offset against the amount of the negotiated Kin-GAP payment.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits received by the youth are subject to offset rules that vary according to whether the youth is receiving state or Federal Kin-GAP benefits.  The relative must be advised to consult with the SSA office to get information on how SSI benefits may be affected in order to make an informed decision.  Staff and families may consult with the Kin-GAP Unit if issues arise regarding a child's income.  The income of the child's parents, Kin-GAP guardian, or any other relative living in the household is not to be used to determine the child's Kin-GAP eligibility.

 

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined that Kin-GAP payments will not be considered as annual income for all initial certifications and annual re-certifications, for purposes of Section 8 Housing income eligibility.

Assets

A child receiving Kin-GAP benefits may retain up to $10,000 in cash savings, including interest.  This also applies to children participating in a transitional independent living case plan.  The WIC Sections 11257 and 11257.5 continue to apply to the new state funded Kin-GAP Program.  Under these sections, other assets belonging to the child may also be exempt from consideration when establishing eligibility for state funded Kin-GAP benefits.  Consult as needed with the Kin-GAP Unit if there are potential issues regarding a child's assets.

Children under Voluntary Placement Agreement with a Relative

For a child under a voluntary placement agreement with a relative, once a petition is filed and the court finds that the child fulfills the requirements of WIC 300 and the parent is not interested in family maintenance or family reunification services, the CSW may ask the court to issue letters of guardianship and to close the case under the Kin-GAP program in lieu of adjudicating the case if:

 

The specific requirements above must be stated in the court report.

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Conversion/Re-Assessment of Existing Kin-GAP Cases

WIC 11378(b) mandates that at the time of the annual re-determination of the state funded Kin-GAP benefits, the county must determine whether the child was receiving Federal AFDC-FC payments prior to receiving Kin-GAP, while a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court.  Those children determined to have previously received AFDC-FC payments must be reassigned to a county social worker, who will inform the relative guardian, and the child if over twelve (12) years of age, of the benefits of transitioning to Federal Kin-GAP and the process for making the transition.

 

For those children who are not Title IV-E eligible, their cases will be converted to the new state-funded Kin-GAP program utilizing a similar process.

 

All existing Kin-GAP cases are to be converted to the new Kin-GAP program at or before the time of the child's next annual re-determination.  DCFS is given the option of converting an existing Kin-GAP case prior to the date of the annual re-determination.  The Kinship Division is the key point of reference for relative guardian's inquiries and questions.  See Kinship Supportive Services, for more information.

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Kin-GAP Payment Rates and Benefits

Kin-GAP payments are based on the child's needs otherwise covered in AFDC-FC payments (minus any non-exempt income) and the circumstances of the relative guardian.  Payments cannot exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid based on the age-related state-approved foster family home care rate and any applicable Specialized Care Increment (SCI) for a child placed in a licensed or approved family home.

 

Kin-GAP recipients are automatically eligible for age-related increases.  Once the case has entered the new Kin-GAP program, a re-assessment is required at least every two years.  If the needs of the child or circumstances of the relative guardian change, DCFS and the relative guardian may negotiate an adjusted payment of benefits more frequently than every two years.  See Kinship Supportive Services for more information on the re-assessment process.

 

Kin-GAP legal guardians are not eligible for the DCFS childcare subsidy.  When the case enters Kin-GAP the childcare subsidy expires after the current certification period.  As needed, CSWs should assist the caregiver in identifying alternative childcare resources in the community and/or through DPSS.

Specialized Care Increment (SCI) Eligibility

The following SCI provisions are applicable to recipients of both the state and federally funded Kin-GAP Programs.

 

The SCI is a rate based on the county's approved Specialized Care Rate (SCR) Plan and is available to the relative caregiver or relative guardian once DCFS determines that the assessed child meets the SCI criteria of that Plan.  See Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate and Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – F-Rate for more information.  If a child meets the criteria for a SCI rate, the child is eligible to receive it after re-assessment even though he or she did not receive the rate prior to entering Kin-GAP.

Dual Agency Rate Eligibility

A child who is a consumer of regional center services who also receives Kin- GAP payment and benefits may be eligible for a dual agency rate and the supplemental rate for extraordinary care and supervision in accordance with WIC 11464.

Whole Family Foster Home/Teen Parent

For a Kin-GAP youth who is a teen parent and has a child living in the same home, in addition to the infant supplement, the Kin-GAP rate will include the $200 monthly payment provided to a relative guardian in a "whole family foster home."  The shared responsibility plan requirements do not apply.  The youth may consult with DPSS to determine if CalWORKs benefits for the child may be an option.

Clothing Allowance

All children receiving Kin-GAP payment and benefits are entitled to the annual state supplemental clothing allowance which will be paid in accordance with the county's clothing allowance plans and payment structure.

Independent Living Services (ILP)

The Kin-GAP child remains eligible for ILP services when he or she attains age sixteen (16) and when the youth and/or the caregiver requests for such services.  However, the youth will not be eligible for the Chafee Educational/Training Voucher unless the youth remains in foster care until age sixteen (16) prior to the transfer to Kin-GAP.  Additionally, the child will not be eligible for the Transitional Housing Program or the Transitional Housing Program Plus.  ILP after-care services must be documented by the Youth Development Services (YDS) staff.  For youth living out-of-state, the CSW (if there is one) and/or the youth/legal guardian may consult with YDS and/or that state's child welfare agency for available resources.

Medi-Cal

A child determined to be eligible for Title IV-E Kin-GAP is eligible for Medicaid in the state where the child resides.  A child receiving non-Title IV-E or state-funded Kin-GAP is eligible for California Medi-Cal as long as the child is eligible for the Kin-GAP payment and is a resident of California in accordance with residency requirements pursuant to Title 22, California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 50320.  Prior to the termination of a Kin-GAP payment (either Title IV-E or state funded Kin-GAP), counties must immediately complete a re-determination to re-evaluate eligibility of the child for all Medi-Cal programs in accordance with WIC Section 14005.37.  Recipients moving or living out-of-state should be made aware of the availability of medical benefits.  State-only eligible Kin-GAP recipients may not receive Federal Medicaid if the new state of residence does not have reciprocity with California.

Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Kin-GAP Expenses

Per ACL 14-19, a relative who had a kinship guardianship established on or after January 1, 2012, is eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable and verified nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining the legal guardianship assuming all other Kin-GAP eligibility conditions have been met. All costs associated with the reimbursement must have occurred prior to the court's granting the guardianship. Reimbursement shall not exceed $2,000 (two-thousand dollars). Examples of reasonable and verified expenses that may be eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

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Out-of-County Kin-GAP Placements

The county that formally had court-ordered jurisdiction of the child is responsible for paying the child's Kin-GAP benefits regardless of where the child actually resides.  If the child resides outside the financially responsible county, the Kin-GAP rate will be based on the host county or the rate of the county which had court-ordered jurisdiction over the legal guardianship if it is determined that the host county rate cannot be paid.  Host county is defined as where the child resides.  If the child is eligible for a specialized care rate, the county with payment responsibility pays the host county's specialized care rate or its own specialized care rate if the host county has no specialized care system.

Out-of–State Kin-GAP Placements

Under both the state and federally funded programs, Kin-GAP payment/benefits continue regardless of the state of residency in which the relative guardian and child reside.  The payment will be based on the host state's rate, or the rate of the county/state which had court-ordered jurisdiction over the legal guardianship if it is determined that the host state rate cannot be paid.  If child is eligible for a specialized care rate, the county with payment responsibility pays the host county's specialized care rate or its own specialized care rate if the host county has no specialized care system.

 

A child who is under the jurisdiction of the California juvenile court system and is placed with an out-of-state relative is eligible for the Kin-GAP Program, if all eligibility requirements are met.

 

A relative legal guardian does not need to have resided in California or have previously met California residency requirement for the case to be eligible for Kin-GAP payments and benefits.

 

Relative guardians must apply for Medicaid on behalf of the federally eligible child in the new state of residence.  A Medicaid "COBRA" letter may be obtained from the Eligibility Unit to expedite the application process.  Families moving out of California or the United States must be encouraged to research the applicable laws of the new state or country of residency to determine the impact the move will have on all other issues, including the ability to enroll the child in school, arrange for health coverage and accessibility to other appropriate services with California and access other appropriate resources.

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Successor Guardian in the Federal Kin-GAP Program

At the time of recommending Kin-GAP, the CSW should have a discussion with the relative caregiver regarding the selection of the proposed successor guardian. It is also encouraged to ask the kinship guardian to review the selection of the proposed successor guardian at the time or reassessment. The guardian is encouraged to have discussions with the individual identified regarding the individual's willingness and ability to be the successor guardian. The named successor guardian does not need to sign an agreement or become otherwise involved until the need to appoint a new successor guardian due to health or incapacity occurs, and he or she is willing to become the guardian.

 

The successor guardian does not have to be a relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) to be eligible for Kin-GAP funding under the new federal law. Documentation of the relationship between the child and the proposed successor guardian, as required by WIC Section 11391(c), is not required for naming a successor guardian or for funding purposes, but it may be required for establishing the guardianship. Nothing in federal law precludes the kinship guardian from identifying more than one successor guardian.

 

To ensure eligibility is maintained for federally-funded Kin-GAP cases, it is strongly recommended that a successor guardian be named when executing the initial Kin-GAP agreement. If the current guardian is not able, or is unwilling, to identify a successor guardian at the time of initial agreement, a successor guardian may be subsequently named in an amendment to the agreement.

 

The name successor guardian and home must be assessed as required pursuant to WIC Section 11386(i). A new period of six month in placement with the successor guardian is not required. However, the Kin-GAP payments cannot resume until the successor guardian meets all eligibility requirements. A new Kin-GAP agreement must be signed prior to the court's appointment of the successor guardian.

Alternate or Co-Guardianships

At the time of recommending Kin-GAP, the CSW should have a discussion with the relative caregiver regarding co-guardianship. The caregiver must be informed that it is very important to plan ahead in order to avoid discontinuance of Kin-GAP payments if a new guardian is added. It is important to request the appointment of an alternate or co-guardian prior to termination of dependency jurisdiction and starting Kin-GAP.

 

If an alternate guardian or co-guardian is appointed pursuant to WIC 366.3 who is also a kinship guardian, the alternate or co-guardian is entitled to receive Kin-GAP on behalf of the child.  A new period of six (6) months of placement with the alternate guardian or co-guardian is not required if that alternate guardian or co-guardian has been assessed pursuant to WIC 361.3 and WIC 361.4 and the court terminates dependency jurisdiction.

 

If the court has already terminated jurisdiction and the case has entered Kin-GAP, the CSW (if it has not been filed by the guardian, new guardian or prospective co- guardian) will have to file a WIC 388 to appoint a new guardian or co-guardian.  Under these circumstances the social worker must do the following:

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WIC 388 Petitions Involving Kin-GAP Cases

After the termination of dependency jurisdiction, any parent or person having an interest must file a WIC 388 petition with the juvenile court pursuant to Section 388 to change, modify, or set aside an order of the court.  Kin-GAP payments will continue unless and until the juvenile court, after holding a hearing, orders the child removed from the home of the guardian, terminates the guardianship, or maintains dependency jurisdiction after the court concludes the hearing on the petition filed under WIC 388. Further, Region IX of the Administration for Children and Families has clarified that the Federal Financial Participation (FFP) in a Kin-GAP payment continues unless there is an interruption of the guardian's care, custody and control of the youth. Therefore, FFP continues unless any of the following juvenile court actions occur:

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PROCEDURE

Evaluating the Appropriateness of Kin-GAP

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Before discussing the Kin-GAP program with the relative caregiver and/or recommending it as the alternative permanent plan, make sure that the child meets all the Kin-GAP eligibility criteria, and that it is the most appropriate plan for the child.  Consult with the SCSW as necessary.  This includes ensuring that:
  1. If the child is undocumented (living in the US illegally), refer to the DCFS Special Immigration Services (DCFS SIS) Unit at (323) 725-4679.  Do not terminate court jurisdiction until instructed to do so.
  1. Refer the child to a Regional Center to assess for dual agency rate, SCI rate (D-rate, F-rate), and other applicable supplemental rate before the case enters into Kin-GAP.
  1. If the child is under three (3) years old is receiving services under the Early Start program and a dual agency rate, immediately request that a Regional Center to assess if the child has a qualifying disability to be eligible for Regional Center services after the child turns three years old.  If the child has a qualifying disability entitling the child to Regional Center services under WIC 11464(c), ensure that the child is assessed for and receives the appropriate dual agency rate prior to the case going to Kin-GAP.  See Dual Agency Rate for more information.
  1. If the child is under three (3) years old and did not enter Kin-GAP, and if it is not feasible for the Regional Center to have a determination of the child's eligibility under the Lanterman Act within the next six (6) months, advise the guardian that the case may enter the Kin-GAP program with the current Early Start rate and that the rate may be re-negotiated at the re-determination or sooner upon his or her request if the child's circumstances and/or needs change (e.g. child has turned three (3) and/or a determination has been completed by the Regional Center).
  1. If the child is receiving or potentially qualifies for a SCI Rate (D-rate or F-rate) or Regional Center rate and the child has medical, physical and/or mental health issues, or the Regional Center assessment indicates that the child does not have qualifying disability to be eligible for continued Regional Center services, consult with the PHN and/or D-rate/F-rate Evaluator to determine if the child would be eligible for a SCI rate.  Ensure that the child receives the applicable rate prior to the case entering Kin-GAP.  Once the case enters Kin-GAP, the rate may be renegotiated at the redetermination or upon the guardian's request when the child's circumstances and needs change.
  1. If the child is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), inform the caregiver that SSI benefits may be affected depending on whether the youth is receiving state or federal Kin-GAP benefits.  Advise the caregiver to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) office to obtain more SSI-related information in order to make an informed decision, and if applicable, to subsequently report any change in resources/income per the SSA's mandatory reporting requirements.  Assess if he or she would potentially qualify for a higher rate through SCI or Regional Center rate and make the applicable referrals to ensure that the child receives the appropriate rate.

 

  1. If the answer(s) to the above questions indicate that Kin-GAP may be appropriate, take actions to refer the child for Kin-GAP.

Back to Procedure

Relative Legal Guardianship is Ordered at WIC 366.26 Hearing

CSW Responsibilities

  1. If the relative caregiver wishes to become the child's legal guardian and court jurisdiction and child welfare services are no longer needed, ensure that there is Kin-GAP eligibility and all of the applicable required actions have been completed.

 

  1. If the relative caregiver and/or youth (or Court) insists on proceeding with guardianship with continued jurisdiction, consult with the Kin-GAP Unit as to the appropriate agreement to be completed prior to the establishment of guardianship, in order to ensure eligibility for Kin-GAP in the future.

 

  1. Prior to writing the WIC 336.26 report or referring the case to the DI for the writing of the WIC 366.26 report, discuss the legal and financial responsibilities of legal guardianship with the relative caregiver.  If the child has income, resources and/or any other eligibility issues identified, consult with the Kin-GAP Unit prior to making a Kin-GAP recommendation to ensure that child meets eligibility criteria.  See Writing the WIC 366.26 Hearing Report for more detailed information and instructions including the delineation of staff responsibilities related to the preparation and writing of the .26 report.
  1. Complete and review the SOC 369 and SOC 369A with the relative.  The SOC 369 and SOC 369A must be signed prior to establishing guardianship.  Instruct the caregiver to initial each section and sign the form.
  1. Complete, review and sign the KG4 Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Nonrecurring Legal Guardianship Expenses Agreement with the relative. The KG4 must be signed by the CSW and the prospective legal guardian prior to submission of the expense form (KG5) to submit a claim for payment . Keep a copy of the completed KG4 in the casefile.
  1. Provide a blank KG5, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Nonrecurring Legal Guardianship Expenses Form to the relative and explain that the appropriate documentation must be attached to the completed form and, if necessary, more than one KG5 form may be used.
  2. Advise the relative that the completed and signed KG4 and KG5(s) and all supporting documentation (including copy of legal guardianship order) are to be submitted for reimbursement to: DCFS Fiscal Operations, 425 Shatto Place, Suite 205, Los Angeles, CA 90020.
  1. Obtain a completed KG2, Statement of Facts Supporting Eligibility for Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program, from the relative caregiver as this will facilitate the case's entry to Kin-GAP and the closure of the case.
  2. Inform the relative that Kin-GAP benefits commence on the first day of the following month in which the SOC 369A is signed by all parties.
  3. Explain to the relative caregiver that the Kin-GAP start date may commence later depending on factors such as:
  1. Provide the DI (if DI will be writing the WIC 366.26 report) with completed and signed SOC 369 and SOC 369A attached to the guardianship referral packet, and your efforts to inform the prospective guardian about Kin-GAP guardianship and that prospective guardian agrees with the plan.  Legal guardianship will not be recommended without the completed and signed SOC 369 and SOC 369A.
  1. In the event the court establishes guardianship without the completed SOC 369 and SOC 369A, immediately consult with the Kin-GAP Unit to determine if alternative funding options may be available which may include state-funded Kin-GAP.
  1. If making a "fictive relative" determination for a federally eligible Kin-GAP child/youth, document the relationship qualifiers in CWS/CMS Social Worker Case Notes, the court report or the approval documents as appropriate.  Retain the determination documentation in the child/youth's case file.

 

  1. Ensure that the youth and/or the prospective legal guardian has an original Certified Birth Certificate prior to case closure, and document the fact in the Contact Notebook and in the termination of jurisdiction case plan/court report.

 

  1. If it is in the best interest of the child and the recommended plan is legal guardianship, complete and submit a DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI, and attachments (i. e., SOC 369 and SOC 369A, CPA, and copy of the birth certificate) to the regional DI SCSW.

 

  1. Document in the assessment/guardianship study the following:

 

  1. Discuss with the child's parent(s) about the Kin-GAP plan, and document the contact in the Contact Notebook.

 

  1. Upon receipt of the minute order granting guardianship and terminating jurisdiction, submit the referral packet to the Kin-GAP Unit with a DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request, to ensure that Kin-GAP benefits can start as soon as possible.  This will help avoid using county funds (GRI), and to facilitate the closure of the case.  The following documents needs be included in the referral packet:
  1. Minute Order documenting that dependency has been dismissed and that relative legal guardianship has been granted.
  1. Guardianship Court Report (WIC 366.26)
  1. SOC 369, Agency Relative Guardianship Disclosure
  1. SOC 369A, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Amendment Agreement
  1. KG2, if available
  2. KG4 (photocopy)
  1. DCFS 1695, D-Rate Indicators and Referral Form, if SCI (D-rate) is indicated
  1. DCFS 1696, F-Rate Indicators, if F-Rate is indicated
  1. DCFS 5420, Verification of Relative Status
  1. Verification of receipt of Regional Center services dual agency rate is indicated and SOC 837, SOC 836 and/or SOC 835 (if needed) dual agency supplemental rate is indicated
  1. SOC 815, Approval of family Caregiver Form, if not accessible via CWS/CMS
  1. CW 51 – Child Support – Good Cause Claim for Noncooperation.  Here is how you complete the CW 51:
  1. Go to the AFDC-FC page of the Client Notebook of the focus child.
  1. In the CW 51 Grid, click the "+" sign.  A dialogue box will be displayed.
  1. Make a selection for a parent and siblings who share the same parent and who are in the same Kin-GAP case referral.
  1. Enter the date of the determination and whether or not a referral will or will not be made to the Child Support Services Department (CSSD).
  1. Click the OK/Apply button.
  1. Repeat for each parent.
  1. Click the Cancel button after you apply the last parent.
  1. Go to the File menu and choose the Print Report command.
  1. In the Client Reports, choose the CW51 – Non-Referral for Child Support.
  1. Choose the first parent.
  1. CWS/CMS will generate a CW 51 for each child of that parent.  Once generated, if you are not choosing to refer the parent to child support, choose 'Permanency Plan with related legal guardianship under the Kin-GAP program' as the reason in the Claim Determination – County Use Only box.
  1. Enter your phone number in the same section and print the document.
  1. Once reunification services are terminated, the case may be referred to the local child support agency unless the permanent plan is legal guardianship with a relative who is receiving Kin-GAP and the payment of support by the parent may impact the stability of the current placement with the related guardian.  In that situation, the responsible agency must make a determination whether it is in the best interests of the child to have the case referred to the local child support agency for child support services.  See Contacts with the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) for more information.
  1. Sign the CW 51 and enter your telephone number in the designated line in the Claim Determination – County Use Only box (in the center of the form).
  1. Document the basis for the determination in the Case Notes of each child's case.
  1. Forward to SCSW for review.
  1. File a copy of the CW 51 in the Additional Services Documentation folder.

 

  1. Upon receipt of notification from the Kin-GAP Eligibility Worker, close the case using established procedures.

DI SCSW/SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Ensure that all the forms are completed correctly.  If not, return them to the CSW for corrective action.

 

  1. DI SCSW will ensure that the SOC 369 and SOC 369A are included in the guardianship referral packet.

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A Child is Placed in a Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (PPLA) with a Relative

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Prior to the next status review report, discuss the legal and financial responsibilities of adoptions and legal guardianship/Kin-GAP with the relative caregiver.

 

  1. If the relative caregiver does not wish to obtain legal guardianship or adopt, include the specific reasons in the next status review report including efforts made to achieve a more permanent plan.

 

  1. If the relative caregiver wishes to become the child's legal guardian and if court jurisdiction and child welfare services are no longer needed, attach the completed and signed SOC 369 and SOC 369A to the DI referral and the court report prior to the WIC 366.26 hearing.

 

  1. If it is in the best interest of the child and the recommended plan is legal guardianship, complete and submit a DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI and attachments (i. e., SOC 369 and SOC 369A, CPA, and copy of the birth certificate) to the regional DI SCSW.

 

  1. Request that the court set the matter for a WIC 366.26 hearing at the next status review hearing.

 

  1. If the relative caregiver and/or youth (or Court) insists on proceeding with guardianship with continued jurisdiction, consult with the Kin-GAP Unit as to the appropriate agreement to be completed prior to the establishment of guardianship, in order to ensure eligibility for Kin-GAP in the future.

 

  1. Document in the assessment/guardianship study that:

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review and ensure the DCFS 4141 and supporting documents are complete.

Back to Procedure

The Court Previously Ordered Guardianship and Maintains Jurisdiction of a Child who Lives with a Relative Legal Guardian

When a case is not otherwise appropriate for Kin-GAP, staff can no longer recommend non-Kin-GAP relative guardianship with continued court jurisdiction.  This is to ensure that Federal Kin-GAP benefits may still be an option for the child at a later time and to allow the completion of the SOC 369 and SOC 369A prior to the guardianship being established.

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Make an ongoing assessment of the suitability of Kin-GAP, including for out-of-State relative legal guardianship cases are now also eligible for Kin-GAP payments and benefits.  Review the case to determine if court jurisdiction and child welfare services remain in the best interest of the child.

 

  1. If court jurisdiction and child welfare services continue to be needed (e.g., the child has not been with the relative for six (6) consecutive months, there is a pending assessment for the dual agency rate and/or supplemental rate, the child has special circumstances which could not previously be met through Kin-GAP, or it would create a hardship for the family if childcare is terminated), provide any needed referrals and services to mitigate the reasons cited.
  1. If applicable, request that the Regional Center complete an assessment to see if the child qualifies for the dual agency rate and/or supplement after turning three (3) years old.
  2. Document such efforts and the results and if applicable, any continuing efforts to be made to achieve a more permanent plan.

 

  1. Review the case with the SCSW.

 

  1. Address and document the reason(s) for the caregiver not pursuing Kin-GAP, the need for continued court jurisdiction, and child welfare services and any efforts made to achieve a more permanent plan in the next status review report.

 

  1. If court jurisdiction and child welfare services are no longer needed, ensure that there is Kin-GAP eligibility and all of the applicable required actions have been completed.  Prior to making the Kin-GAP recommendation and termination of court jurisdiction, consult with the Kin-GAP Unit to determine if the case will be eligible for Kin-GAP benefits with consideration to whether the SOC 369 and SOC 369A were completed prior to the establishment of the guardianship.

 

  1. If after consulting with the Kin-GAP Unit, it is determined that the case is eligible for Kin-GAP and the upcoming court hearing is scheduled for more than 60 days in advance, submit a DCFS 4153, Juvenile Court Calendar Set-on Slip Dependency, to expedite the calendaring of the hearing and indicate in the upper right corner of the form "Kin-GAP CASE".
  1. Submit the DCFS 4153 to the DCFS Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Liaison, requesting that the case be set-on for a hearing no fewer than thirty (30) calendar days and no more than forty-five (45) calendar days from the date of the request.
  1. Upon receipt of the DCFS 4153 from JCS calendaring the WIC 366.3 hearing, prepare the report and notices for the new hearing date.
  1. If setting a new date for the WIC 366.3 report, in the "Recommendation" section, recommend that the existing court date be advanced and vacated and that the court terminate jurisdiction.
  1. In the "Reason for Recommendation" section, state that the relative legal guardian is Kin-GAP-eligible and that jurisdiction is no longer necessary.

 

  1. Submit the court report with signed copy of the SOC 369 and SOC 369A.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

ARA Approval

RA or Division Chief Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

CWS/CMS

Concurrent Planning Assessment

CW 51 - Child Support – Good Cause Claim for Noncooperation

DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI

Guardianship Court Report (WIC 366.26)

SOC 815, Approval of family Caregiver Form

LA Kids

DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request

DCFS 1695, D Rate Indicators and Referral Form

DCFS 1696, F-rate and Regional Center Rate Indicators

DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI

DCFS 4153, Juvenile Court Calendar Set-On Slip Dependency

DCFS 5420, Verification of Relative Status

DCFS 5620, Comparison of Legal and Financial Benefits of Adoption, Legal Guardianship and Planned Permanent Living Arrangement

JV 350, Guardianship Pamphlet

KG1, Kin-GAP Mutual Agreement for 18 Year Olds

KG2, Statement of Facts Supporting Eligibility for Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

KG4, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Nonrecurring Legal Guardianship Expenses Agreement

KG5, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Nonrecurring Legal Guardianship Expenses Form

SOC 369, Agency Relative Guardianship Disclosure (via link to state forms)

SOC 369A, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Amendment Agreement

SOC 835, Supplement to the Dual Agency Rate – Multiple Questionnaire Worksheet

SOC 836, Supplement to the Rate Eligibility Form

SOC 837, Supplement to the Rate Questionnaire

Referenced Policy Guides

E050-0510, Non-County Welfare Department Eligibility Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

E080-0570, Initial Determination for Financial Participation Legal Guardian

0070-516.10, Assessing a Child's Development and Referring to and Collaborating with Regional Center

0080-503.00, Contacts with the Child Support Services Department (CSSD)

0080-505.10, Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP)

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)

0100-520.37, Kinship Supportive Services

0100-535.25, Extended Foster Care (EFC) Program

0100-535.65, Extended Foster Care: Re-Entry of Non-Minor Former Dependents

0300-503.41, WIC 388 Petitions: Response Report

0300-503.10, Writing the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearing Report

0300-503.20, Writing the WIC 366.26 Hearing Report

0900-506.10, Clothing Allowances

0900-511.12, Dual Agency Rate

0900-522.10, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate

0900-522.11, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – F-Rate

0900-523.10, Social Security(SS)/Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Care

1200-500.10, Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce)

FYI 14-19 (09/02/14), WIC 388 Petitions and Impact on Kin-GAP Benefits

Statutes

All County Letter (ACL) 11-15 (January 31, 2011) – Lays out the new Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-Gap) Program Requirements.

 

 

ACL 14-19 (February 28, 2014) - Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Nonrecurring Costs for Legal Guardianship.

 

ACL 14-28 (March 25, 2014) – Expansion of the definition of relative for the federal Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) program.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Sections 361.5(g)(2)(A), 366.21(i)(2)(A) and 366.22(c)(2)(A) – State in part that a relative caregiver's preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

 

WIC Sections 361.5 (g)(2)(B) – States in part that a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption.

 

WIC Section 362.7 – expands the definition of a relative for the federal Kin-GAP program to include nonrelated extended family members.

 

WIC Sections 366.21(j) and 366.22(c) – States in part that if, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with a relative, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the relative shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP program or the Kin-GAP Plus program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) and Article 4.75 (commencing with Section 11380) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

 

WIC Sections 366.21(k) and 366.22(d) – States in part that as used in this section, "relative" means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, step siblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words "great," "great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

 

 

WIC Section 388.1 - Sets forth who may petition the court for re-entry benefits, including nonminors under Kin-GAP and AAP.

 

WIC Section 10553.1 – Describes agreements that may be made between the State of California and Indian tribes regarding the provision of child welfare services for Indian children.

 

WIC Sections 11360 – 11367 – Sets forth the requirements and the provisions for the amended state-funded Kin-GAP program.

 

WIC Sections 11362(c) and 11391(c) provide the definition of Kin-GAP, Kinship Guardian, Sibling, and Relative.

 

WIC Section 11363(b) – States in part that if the conditions specified in subdivision (a) are met and, subsequent to the termination of dependency jurisdiction, any parent or person having an interest files with the juvenile court a petition pursuant to Section 388 to change, modify, or set aside an order of the court, Kin-GAP payments shall continue unless and until the juvenile court, after holding a hearing, orders the child removed from the home of the guardian, terminates the guardianship, or maintains dependency jurisdiction after the court concludes the hearing on the petition filed under Section 388.

 

WIC Section 11364(c) – States that in accordance with the Kin-GAP agreement, the relative guardian shall be paid an amount of aid based on the child's needs otherwise covered in AFDC-FC payments and the circumstances of the relative guardian, but that shall not exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid based on the age-related state-approved foster family home care rate and any applicable specialized care increment for a child placed in a licensed or approved family home pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, of Section 11461.  In addition, the rate paid for a child eligible for a Kin-GAP payment shall include an amount equal to the clothing allowance, as set forth in subdivision (f) of Section 11461, including any applicable rate adjustments.  For a child eligible for a Kin-GAP payment who is a teen parent, the rate shall include the two hundred dollar ($200) monthly payment made to the relative caregiver in a whole family foster home pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 11465.

 

WIC Section 11364(g) – States in part that payments on behalf of a child who is a recipient of Kin-GAP benefits and who is also a consumer of regional center services shall be based on the rates established by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 11464.

 

WIC Section 11378(b) – States in part that at the time of the annual re-determination of the state-funded Kin-GAP benefits, the county shall determine whether the child was receiving Federal AFDC-FC payments prior to receiving Kin-GAP, while a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court.  Those children determined to have previously received AFDC-FC payments shall be reassigned to the county social worker, who shall inform the relative guardian, and the child if over 12 years of age, of the benefits of transitioning to Federal Kin-GAP and the process for making the transition.  The process described in this subdivision shall continue for at least twelve (12) calendar months or until all state-funded Kin-GAP cases as of the effective date described in this subdivision have been processed.

 

WIC Sections 11385 – 11393 – Sets forth the requirements and the provisions for the Federally-funded Kin-GAP program.

 

United States Code Title 25 Section 1903(6) – Indian Child Welfare Act definitions.

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