Are You Foster Parenting a Family Member?
If you’re already fostering a child related by blood, adoption, marriage, are a family friend or have a positive relationship with the child then you have rights under The New York State Office of Children and Family Services’ Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, or KinGAP.
Oftentimes, children and teens suffering abuse or maltreatment by a birth parent fall into the care of a family member or family friend. If you’ve been approved as a relative foster parent for at least six months, you can take the next steps to legal guardianship and financial benefits under KinGAP.
Onondaga County Foster Care is dedicated to reuniting birth families and keeping youth engaged in their home communities. Relatives are ideal partners in making both these goals happen.
In the meantime, legal guardianship makes you the foster child or teen’s decision-maker in critical matters like education choices and medical care.
Taking over parental duties can create a sensitive situation with a relative who is unfit to perform them, and may redefine traditional family roles. KinGAP covers the legal process that ensures your care is uninhibited by possible challenges from birth parents until reunification is possible. Another appeal of KinGAP is that it allows for the permanency of a child to be established without birth parents’ rights being terminated.
If you are a currently providing care to a child in care, talk to your case worker to find out if KinGAP is the right choice for you.