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Kinship Care

Ohio rules require PCSAs to contact relatives of children who come into care to find someone who is willing and able to accept placement.  If you would like to reach out to an agency to let them know of your availability and willingness to care for a child, please go to the Resource map to find the contact information for the PCSA where the child was removed. Contact the agency and let them know your relationship with the child and that you are willing to assist in their care.

Responsibility for the care of a child is a serious matter, and it is your right to seek legal advice. Whether the parents, the county, or you have custody of the child, legal issues are involved. Caregivers need to do their own research to determine the best option for how to care for children in your home.

For more information, please see Legal Assistance

The first thing your son must do is legally establish that he is the father of the child. He should contact his local child support enforcement agency (CSEA) for help. Once he has legally established that he is the father of the child, he can then contact an attorney regarding the establishment of a custody or visitation order.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recently released a five-part video training series for professionals entitled, “Engaging Kinship Caregivers: Managing Risk Factors in Kinship Care” and a four–part series for caregivers entitled “Coping with the Unique Challenges of Kinship Care” featuring Dr. Joseph Crumbley. Each video training series includes a discussion guide to help program directors, supervisors and trainers lead group sessions to deepen the learning experience.

Learn more and view here.

The only adults who have rights to keep children when they have been taken from their parents are those who have adopted the children or who have been granted legal custody of them. As a foster parent, you would not have legal custody of your brother, the PCSA would have custody. By law, the county is charged with seeking a stable, permanent home for each child in care. The PCSA could request that a court grant you or another relative legal custody. If the PCSA and the court were to terminate parental rights, you could ask to be considered as an adoptive home for your brother.

No. Foster homes and foster parents are used only in situations where the county has temporary or permanent custody of the child. If you have legal custody, you are the responsible party. You are entitled to seek child support from both parents. You can also apply for Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits, if your niece is under the age of 18. You may also be eligible for time-limited payments under the Kinship Permanency Incentive program (KPIP).

For more information, please see Financial Assistance.

The safety of the children may be your first concern if they were removed from a difficult and unsafe home environment. It may be necessary for you or the local PCSA to assume legal custody of the children in order to continue to provide them with a safe home until it is determined that they can return to their parent.

Yes. You may want to consider counseling for yourself and the children. Also, you may want to join a grandparents’ support group, where you can share ideas and concerns and get information. By joining a group, you will get a chance to spend time with others going through the same experiences in caring for children. You will know that you are not alone. To find resources in your area, go to the Resources Map.

Yes. You would have to meet all eligibility requirements for the subsidized child care program, including financial need, based on your gross monthly income. It is important to note that, in all cases, the child care subsidy is available only to caregivers who are working full-time or part-time or are enrolled in education or training leading to employment. The child care subsidy pays a part of the child care cost; the family pays some of the cost on a sliding fee scale. The state issues payments to eligible providers of child care services, which include licensed child care centers and certified family child care home providers.

For more information, please see Child Care Assistance

If you seek cash assistance or Medicaid coverage for yourself and/or Food Assistance for your household, you must disclose your income and financial resources. If you are requesting child-only benefits for the child in your care, you may not be required to give financial information.

For more information, please see Financial Assistance

It depends on the child’s legal status. You have full rights to say “no” only if you have adopted the children. If you have legal custody, the parents may be granted the right to visit the children by court order. However, if there is no court order, they could take them without your consent. Legal custody means that you are responsible for taking care of the children until they are adults. If the county has custody of the children in your care, the biological parent cannot take them without the agreement of the PCSA or a court order. If you have not adopted the child(ren) and neither you nor the PCSA has either legal custody of the child(ren) or a temporary court injunction preventing the child(ren)’s removal, then the biological parent(s) could take back the child(ren) without your consent. If they do so, and you fear for their safety, you need to contact the PCSA to intervene.

If you know the phone number, call the worker’s supervisor. If not, call the main number for your county department of job and family services or public children services agency and ask to speak to your caseworker’s supervisor.

To find contact information for your public children services agency, please go to the Resource Map and search for the PCSA that is is involved with your family.

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