Kinship Care Portal FAQs

Topics:

Office of Financial Independence
Child Protective Services
Legal
Mental Health
Child Support
Community Resources

Office of Financial Independence (OFI) Questions

  1. If I am a kinship caregiver am I eligible for SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps)?
    SNAP is a 30-day application process, financial eligibility program and your household must qualify financially.
  2. If I am a Kinship caregiver am I eligible for Medicaid for the relative minor I am caring for?
    Most children in a kinship caregiver’s home will be eligible, however, certain requirements must be met. These will include proving eligibility and may include your age; the child’s income; and whether they are a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted immigrant.
  3. Can I get TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) for the relative minor I am caring for?
    TANF is an income-based eligibility program that may be based on the child’s income. It also includes proving eligibility of your identity, residency, degree of relation to child, citizenship and more. Applying for TANF may take up to 45 days.
  4. What are Grand Parent Raising Children Payments(GRG) and Crisis Intervention Services Payment (CRISP)? Am I eligible?
    GRG- Grandparents raising grandchildren ongoing supplement through TANF. Must be eligible for TANF as a grandparent, must meet the GRG income guidelines, and must be 55 years of age or older/aged blind or disabled and receiving disability. GRG CRISP- Crisis Intervention Services Payment is a one- time cash payment that equals up to 4 times the maximum TANF benefit amount for that AU size. Must be eligible for TANF as a grandparent. Must have a qualifiable emergency need due to the relative minors in the home, to be determined by the agency.
  5. Are there any Medical programs for elderly or disabled caretakers?
    If you are 65 years old, blind or disabled and you are needing medical assistance or needing assistance with payment with your Medicare premium, (and you meet the income/resources limit), then you may eligible for Medicaid under the ABD (Aged, Blinded, and Disabled) Medicaid.

Child Protective Services

  1. My grandchildren/relatives are in DFCS custody, how do I get them?
    There is a process to be considered a placement for children in care. All placements are case specific and determined by policy. Please visit your county DFCS office to inquire about a child in foster care.
  2. I received my grandchildren/relatives from DFCS, and I have not heard from anyone since what do I do?
    Call the Non-Emergency Child Protection Number in your area or go to your County DFCS office and ask to speak with a Services Supervisor to determine what are the next steps in the matter. Non-Emergency Number 1-855-422-4453
  3. I received a call from DFCS to pick up my grandchildren/relatives to keep them from going into care. What does that mean?
    Care is another word for foster care or DFCS custody. You should verify with DFCS your caregiving role and responsibility prior to receiving a child into your home.
  4. I was asked if I could take my grandchildren/relatives temporarily and I said yes. The DFCS worker gave me a safety plan, is this considered custody
    No, a safety plan is a written statement of the safety needs of your grandchild/relative and what you agree to ensure. This can be used as verification the children are in your home, but this is not a legal document.

Legal

  1. Can DFCS assist with custody or guardianship? 
    DFCS is not able to assist with guardianship or custody, however, your Kinship Navigator may be able to provide you contact information for your local Court.
  2. Do I have to obtain custody and guardianship to receive Kinship Navigator services? 
    No, you do not have to have custody or guardianship to receive assistance from the Kinship Navigator Program. However, other services may require legal documentation.
  3. I am going to court can someone attend with me? 
    Yes, when appropriate the Kinship Navigator can accompany you to court.
  4. How do I file for adoption? 
    If the child is not in DFCS custody you can speak with an adoption attorney. If DFCS is the custodian, you will need to speak with the assigned Case Manager.
  5. Can you provide me with contact information for an adoption attorney?
    Yes, you can ask your Kinship Navigator if they have a list of attorneys in your area.

Mental Health

  1. How can I get my grandchildren/relative tested for special education services?
    You can talk with your grandchild/relative’s teacher or school principal about your concerns.
  2. Will the Kinship Navigator complete a mental health assessment for my grandchild/relative?
    No, the kinship navigator will not complete a mental health assessment but may give you recommendations for a referral
  3. What types of services does the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities provide?
    The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities provides treatment and support services to people with mental illnesses and addictive diseases and support to people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities. The Office of Community Mental Health serves people 4 years of age and older.
  4. What do I do if I need help for mental health, addictive diseases and developmental disorders? 
    Call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, 1-800-715-4225, toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Georgia. This hotline connects callers with a trained, professional counselor who can help you get the services needed for you or someone you know that is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, or who has other problems with mental health, drugs or alcohol.

Child Support

  1. Will grandparents have to pay an application fee for child support services when raising grandchildren?
    The application fee for services may be waived for grandparents raising grandchildren if they elderly, disabled or receive TANF and/or Medicaid benefits for their grandchildren.
  2. Can I apply for child support services without having to come into a local child support office? 
    Yes, and application for services can be made by clicking the following link online.
  3. How long am I able to receive child support payments for a child in my care? 
    A kinship caregiver may receive current child support until a minor child reaches the age of majority, usually 18 years of age; 20 years of age in some courts.
  4. My grandchild/relative’s father currently pays child support but their mother does not. May I apply against one parent as opposed to both mother and father? 
    A kinship caregiver can decide which parent they are making application for unless the kinship caregiver receives TANF and/or Medicaid. If either of these services is received, both parents must be held accountable for current support.
  5. I am a kinship caregiver and the whereabouts of the parents are unknown. Are there any services provided that can assist me with determining their location? 
    Yes, the Division of Child Support Services has services available to kinship families, but we ask that you have some background information regarding the parents such as date of birth, SS#, last known address, etc.)

Community Resources

  1. How would I find a Kinship Support group?
    To locate a support group in your area, you may contact your local AAA or the Division of Aging Services at 1-866-552-4464. You may also find your Area Agency on Aging information on the web at http://aging.dhs.georgia.gov.
  2. I have been working with my kinship navigator, am I still able to work with other community agencies?
    Yes, Kinship Navigators encourage caregivers to access and utilize all available resources and support services.  
  3. Can the Kinship Navigator provide me with a housing voucher?
    No, Kinship Navigators do not provide vouchers however they may be able to refer you to another community partner.
  4. Does the Kinship Navigator Program provide childcare assistance? 
    If seeking childcare assistance, you must apply thru www.gateway.ga.gov and your eligibility is determined through DECAL. 

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