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In Home/Out of Home Care > Specialized Placements & Programs > Kinship Supportive Services

Kinship Supportive Services

0100-520.37 | Revision Date: 12/23/14

Overview

This policy guide provides information on kinship supportive services, what to do when a reassessment for services is needed, and how to handle requests for Kin-GAP benefit changes or extensions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Kinship Supportive Services

Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP)

KSSP Referrals

Kinship Support Division

Kin-GAP Program

Extension of Kin-GAP Benefits

Eligibility for an Extension of Kin-GAP Benefits

Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Kin-GAP Expenses

Procedure

Connecting Children/Youth to KSSP Services

Kinship Liaison Responsibilities

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

Reassessing a Child's Needs

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

ARA/CSA II Responsibilities

Responding to a Request for an Extension of Kin-Gap Benefits

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

Kinship SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version to include information regarding a relative legal guardian's eligibility for reimbursement for nonrecurring Kin-GAP expenses related to obtaining legal guardianship, per ACL 14-19, dated February 28, 2014.

POLICY

Kinship Supportive Services

Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP)

The Kinship Support Services Program (KSSP) promotes:

 

Los Angeles County receives funding through KSSP to support collaborative efforts with community agencies in order to establish public/private partnerships that assist in providing these supportive services. The Kinship Support DivisionThe Kinship Support Division promotes, increases, and sustains legal permanency for children, adolescents and young adults in relative and legal guardianship placement through providing education, supportive services, advocacy, mentoring, and aftercare that is accessible and meets the needs of the child, family, and community. tracks and reports the data and outcomes of this program.

KSSP Referrals

The Kinship Support Division can receive a request for services directly from the relative guardian, the Kin-GAP Unit, Regional staff, or the Foster Care Hotline. Referrals are made by completing a Kinship Resource Center Caregiver Referral Form or by calling the Kinship Resource Center. Eligibility related inquiries, such as address changes, income/property changes, problems with Medi-CalCalifornia's federal Medicaid program., etc. should be referred to Revenue Enhancement’s Kin-GAP Unit.

Kinship Support Division

The Kinship Support Division operates two Kinship Resource Centers.

 

The Kinship Support Division provides services including but not limited to:

 

The Kinship Support Division acts as a point of reference for relative guardian's inquiries and requests for reassessments prior to the regular two (2) year assessment.

Back to Policy

Kin-GAP Program

Once a case has entered the Kin-GAP Program, a reassessment is required at least every two (2) years following the case's entry in to the Kin-GAP Program. If the needs of the child or the circumstances of the relative guardian change, or if the relative guardian and the child move out-of-county or out-of-state or back in to LA County, DCFS and the relative guardian must negotiate adjustments to the payment or the receipt of benefits more frequently.

Extension of Kin-GAP Benefits

The relative guardian is responsible for requesting an extension of Kin-GAP benefits for a youth who is beyond the age of eighteen (18). The relative guardian is also responsible for providing documentation to DCFS that indicates the youth meets one of the five (5) participation criteria for continued eligibility.

 

The relative guardian(s) must agree to continue to provide support for the nonminor former dependent and the child/youth cannot directly receive the financial benefit.  It must continue to go directly to the relative guardian who is supporting the child/youth.

Eligibility for an Extension of Kin-GAP Benefits

Youth who meet the following eligibility requirements may qualify for an extension of Kin-GAP benefits beyond the age of eighteen (18) until the age of twenty-one (21):

 

The relative guardian is also responsible for reporting any changes to DCFS when the youth is no longer meeting one (1) of the five (5) participation criteria.

 

A youth receiving extended Kin-GAP benefits will remain eligible for ILP service.  Under the state and federally funded programs, extended Kin-GAP payments/benefits continue regardless of the state of residency in which the relative guardian and youth reside.

 

Youth in the Federal or State Kin-GAP Program that had not yet attained sixteen (16) years of age before the Kin-GAP negotiated agreement payments/aid payments commenced are excluded from receiving extended Kin-GAP benefits. However, these youth may continue to be eligible for Kin-GAP up to age nineteen (19) under the existing high school completion rule, per WIC 11403.01.

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Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Kin-GAP Expenses

A relative who had a kinship guardianship established on or after January 1, 2012, is eligible to receive reimbursement for reasonable and verified nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal guardianship, assuming all other Kin-GAP eligibility conditions have been met. Reimbursement shall not exceed $2,000 (two thousand dollars). Examples of reasonable and verified expenses associated with obtaining legal guardianship that may be eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, documented out-of-pocket attorney fees, transportation costs and cost of lodging and food for the prospective legal guardian to attend the hearing. Specific procedures apply for reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses.

PROCEDURE

Connecting Relative Guardian/Caregiver to KSSP Services

Kinship Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Provide relative guardians/caregivers with information about kinship-related issues such as:

 

  1. Establish close service-oriented collaborative relationships and/or partnerships with community based agencies and organizations that provide support, services and resources to kinship families.

 

  1. Refer the relative guardian/caregiver to the Kinship Resource Center, as appropriate, for additional support and services, which may include the assistance of a Kinship CSW.

 

  1. Collaborate with CSWs and Regional Staff to enhance and promote services for relative guardian/caregiver.

 

  1. Respond to Public and/or Board Inquiries and participate in community resource fairs or town hall forums associated with kinship caregivers.

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

  1. Ask the relative guardian/caregiver to explain why he/she contacted DCFS to request Kinship Supportive Services.
  1. For Kin-GAP cases that need a WIC 388 petition, an emergency response referral, or voluntary/non-voluntary family maintenance/reunification, refer to Kinship Guardianship Assistant Payment (Kin-GAP) Program.
  1. If the relative guardian wants to adopt the child, refer to Change of Permanent Plan from Legal Guardianship/Kin-GAP to Adoption.

 

  1. Ask follow up questions and gather additional information from the relative guardian to determine the needs of and/or appropriate interventions for the child.

 

  1. Provide referrals, resources, and/or services to the relative guardian/caregiver.

 

  1. If a Kin-GAP child’s needs have changed and his/her benefit rate needs to be altered or the child needs to request an extension of Kin-GAP benefits, refer to Reassessing and Child’s Needs and Kin-GAP Legal Guardian Requests an Extension of Kin-GAP Benefits.

 

  1. Document services and/or resources provided to the relative guardian/caregiver in the Kinship Supportive Services Program (KSSP) database.

 

  1. For open cases, document services and/or resources provided in the Case Notes Notebook.

Back to Procedure

Reassessing a Child's Needs

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

  1. Review all available case records and/or the request.

 

  1. Notify the relative legal guardian/caregiver by letter or phone that you have been assigned to process the request and/or reassessment.

 

  1. If the relative guardian/caregiver requests an increase in the amount of the Kin-GAP benefit, request that the family provide written documentation of the child’s needs to justify the increase. Documentation must include reports by a licensed therapist or other professionals that substantiate the need for a rate increase.

 

  1. Upon receipt of sufficient documentation:
  1. If the relative guardian/caregiver is requesting an increase for a child who receives Regional Center services, follow the steps outline in Regional Center Rates for Dual Agency Children.
  2. If the relative guardian/caregiver is requesting an increase for a child who has emotional, behavioral, or medical issues, refer the case to the D-Rate EvaluatorLicensed clinician who provides assistance to CSW in identifying and assessing the needs of children with special needs by ensuring that the caregiver's home meets the child's needs and that all children having special needs have those needs met in accordance with the provisions of the Katie A. settlement agreement. or PHN and follow the steps outlined in Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate or Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – F-Rate.

 

  1. Determine the amount of the Kin-GAP benefit to be negotiated based on applicable provisions of the Kin-GAP program, information provided by the relative guardian/caregiver, and DCFS foster care specialized care assessment of the child or dual agency guidelines, or out of county/state payment and benefits guidelines.

 

  1. If the relative guardian/caregiver is reporting a change in the child’s needs that requires a change in the amount of the Kin-GAP benefit:
  1. Complete an amended SOC 369A, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Agreement Amendment, with the relative guardian/caregiver with the recommended benefit amount.
  1. Discuss the recommendations of the Public Health Nurse (PHN) or other DCFS representative(s) with the relative guardian/caregiver, if applicable.
  1. Request that the relative guardian/caregiver sign the SOC 369A.

 

  1. When reassessing a youth who is already receiving extended benefits and whose criteria for eligibility have changed but who still meets one (1) or the five (5) participation criteria, notate the change in the KG3, Kin-GAP Mutual Agreement for Nonminor Former Dependent.

 

  1. If the relative guardian/caregiver does not agree with the amount of the Kin-GAP benefit, request additional information and documentation to justify the change.
  1. Submit the additional documentation to the PHN/D-Rate Evaluator for evaluation.
  1. Consult with the SCSW, as necessary, for direction.
  1. If the conflict is not resolved after resubmitting additional documentation and consultation, consult with the SCSW and with the ARA/CSA II for direction.

 

  1. If the request for additional Kin-GAP benefits is denied after going through the steps above, and the benefit will continue at the existing approved rate, complete a DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request, to request that a Notice of Action (NOA) be sent to the relative guardian/caregiver.

 

  1. Document the completion of the reassessment and/or any other actions taken in the Case Notes.

 

  1. Submit the SOC 369A and all supporting documentation to the SCSW for approval. Supporting documentation includes the following:

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the SOC 369A, Case Notes, and all supporting documentation.
  1. If approved, forward the SOC 369A to the Kin-GAP Unit.
  1. For D-Rate assessment for children thirty-seven (37) to fifty-nine (59) months old, forward the SOC 369A, Case Notes, and all supporting documentation to the ARA/CSA II for approval.
  1. For F-3 and F-4, forward the SOC 369A, Case Notes, and supporting documentation (e.g. the DCFS 1696) to the ARA/CSA II for approval.
  1. For dual agency rates, forward the SOC 369A, Case Notes, and supporting documentation (e.g. the DCFS 280 and the SOC 836, the SOC 837 and/or the SOC 835) to the ARA/CSA II for approval.
  1. If not approved, return to CSW for corrective action.

ARA/CSA II Responsibilities

  1. Review the SOC 369A, Case Notes, and supporting documentation.
  1. If approved, sign the DCFS 1696 for F-3 or F-4 rates, the SOC 369A for D-Rates for children thirty-seven (37) to fifty-nine (59) months old, or the DCFS 280 for dual agency and/or supplemental rates, and return the packet to the SCSW.
  1. If not approved, return to SCSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Responding to a Request for an Extension of Kin-Gap Benefits

Kinship CSW Responsibilities

  1. Review all available case records, the request for extended benefits, and any documentation provided.

 

  1. Determine if the child/youth meets the extended benefits eligibility criteria.

 

  1. Notify the relative guardian/caregiver by letter or by phone that you are assigned to process the request.

 

  1. If the child/youth meets the eligibility criteria, contact the relative guardian/caregiver to schedule an appointment to discuss the benefits.

 

  1. Complete the KG 3, Kin-GAP Mutual Agreement for Nonminor Former Dependent and the SOC 369A, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Agreement Amendment.
  1. Obtain the relative guardian/caregiver's signature on the KG 3 and the SOC 369A.
  1. Obtain the child/youth’s signature on the KG 3.

 

  1. Inform the relative guardian/caregiver that he/she is responsible for reporting to DCFS if the child/youth is not satisfying at least one (1) of the participation criteria.

 

  1. If the relative guardian/caregiver requests an increase in the amount of the Kin-GAP benefits, refer to Reassessing a Child's Needs.

 

  1. Document the completion of the Kin-GAP extension and any other actions taken in the Case Notes.

 

  1. Submit the KG 3, the SOC 369A, and all supporting documentation for the participation eligibility criterion or disability to the SCSW for approval.

 

  1. If the youth does not meet the criteria and/or the relative guardian/caregiver has not provided sufficient documentation, complete a DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request, to request a Notice of Action (NOA) be sent to him/her.

 

  1. If the child/youth does not meet the criteria for extended benefits but may qualify for benefits under the high school completion rule, alert the Kin-GAP Unit and refer the relative guardian/caregiver and child/youth to the Kin-GAP Unit for assistance.

Kinship SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the KG 3, SOC 369A, Case Notes, and all supporting documentation.
  1. If approved, forward the KG 3, SOC 369A, and all supporting documentation to the Kin-GAP Unit.
  1. If not approved, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

ARA/CSA II Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

LA Kids

DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request

DCFS 1695, D-Rate Indicators and Child Referral Form

DCFS 1696, F-Rate and Regional Center (ARM) Rate Indicators

SOC 369, Agency Relative Guardianship Disclosure (also available in Spanish)

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

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

KG3, Kin-GAP Mutual Agreement for Nonminor Former Dependent

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-548.01, Child and Family Teams

0100-520.35, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

0300-503.99, Change of Permanent Plan from Legal Guardianship to Adoption

0900-511.12, Dual Agency Rates

0900-522.10, Specialized Care Increment (SCI)A rate paid in addition to the basic care rate for the care of children/youth with special needs. – D-Rate

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

Statutes

ACL 11-15 (January 31, 2011) – New Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-Gap) Program Requirements

 

ACL 11-86 (March 1, 2012) – Extension of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Benefits and Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP) to Age twenty-one (21).

 

ACL 14-19 (February 28, 2014) - Reviews relative legal guardian's eligibility for reimbursement of non-recurring expenses related to obtaining legal guardianship.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 11362(c) and 11391(c) – Provide the definition of a relative.

 

WIC Sections 1136011367 – Set forth the requirements and the provisions for the amended state-funded Kin-GAP program.

 

WIC Section 11363(b) – States 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 file under Section 388.

 

WIC Section 11363(d) – States that effective January 1, 2014, Kin-GAP payments continue for youths who have attained eighteen (18) years of age and are under twenty-one (21) years of age, if they reached sixteen (16) years of age before the Kin-GAP negotiated payments commenced.

 

WIC Section 11364(b)(6) and 11387 (b)(6) - Sets forth the requirements for process and type of nonrecurring expenses that may be reimbursed to a guardian for a guardianship established after 01/01/2012.

 

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

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