OverviewKinship Care is care and maintenance of a child who resides outside of the child’s own home, either temporarily or long term, with a relative who could be an adult brother or sister, a first cousin, a nephew or niece, an uncle or aunt or a grandparent, among others. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Family Services provides a monthly payment through the local human service agency or tribe, for those relative caregivers meeting Kinship eligibility requirements.
Children placed with relatives by court order are automatically considered eligible for kinship payment.
A relative caregiver may apply for benefits if the child needs the kinship living arrangement because of the potential for abuse or neglect if they remain with the parent or parents or if the parent is unable to care for the child due to mental health, drug, alcohol issues or incarceration.
A relative caregiver who wants to receive kinship care payments must first complete an application form and submit it to the Division of Children and Family Services. After the application is received, the applicant will be contacted by the kinship caseworker and scheduled for a home visit.
To be considered eligible for Kinship payment, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Verify the residence of the child and have adequate housing.
- Be able to provide evidence of relationship to the child (birth certificate, etc.).
- Must apply for any other forms of medical or financial assistance for which the child or relative may be eligible.
- Provide sufficient information for the agency to conduct a criminal background check on the applicant, any adult resident of the home or employee or prospective employee who will have contact with the child.
- The relative caregiver or adult resident or employee must have no history of contact with a child protective agency or arrests or convictions that could adversely affect the child or the relative’s ability to care for the child.
The Kinship care placement will be reviewed annually by the Kinship care caseworker. At the time of application the relative caregiver agrees to:
- Cooperate with the agency in the application process and in the yearly review.
- Notify the agency whenever a person becomes a resident of the relative’s home, or ceases to be a resident of the relative’s home.
- Notify the agency of any significant change in the relative’s living arrangements.