DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 7: Relative Home Approvals
7-8 Eligibility for Relative Placements to Receive Financial Aid
Relative Home Approvals
7-8 Eligibility for Relative Placements to Receive Financial Aid
Reference Points
Overview
Relative Chart
Financial Aid for Relatives
Financial Aid for NREFMs
Child Placed Out-of-Home for the First Time
Child has been in an Out-of-Home Placement
Effect of Corrective Action Plans
Change of Residence
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 8/26/08
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Corrective Action Plan (SCZ200L)
  MS Word SCZ200L / English
  MS Word SCZ200L / Spanish


Overview  

There are two kinds of financial assistance. One type is Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFCD-FC), and the other type is Cal/WORKs relative assistance (AFDC-FG). The differences are significant. Social workers can consult with eligibility workers for information regarding current AFDC-FC and AFDC-FG rates and the difference between the two types of financial assistance.

Relatives may apply for CalWORKs financial aid for a child placed in their home, whether the placement is on a temporary basis [WIC 309(d)] or regular basis.  Children are generally "eligible" for CalWORKs aid, if the child is placed with a relative.  If the child is federally eligible, the relative can select to receive AFDC-FC or CalWORKs.  AFDC-FC rates are higher than CalWORKs rates.

NREFMs can never receive CalWORKs financial aid and generally* receive AFDC-FC financial assistance after they are approved and the child is placed with them on a regular basis. NREFMs cannot receive financial assistance during a temporary placement.

*NOTE: If a child has another source(s) of monthly income (e.g., SSI, SSA, etc.) CalWORKs or AFDC-FC monthly financial assistance would be reduced by the amount of the income. If the income exceeds the CalWORKs or AFDC monthly rates or the child has significant financial assets (e.g., a revocable trust), the child may be ineligible for either CalWORKs or AFDC-FC.

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Relative Chart  

In California, a “relative” of a child in foster care is a person related to the child by virtue of being one of the following:

  • The father, mother, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, first cousin once removed, nephew, niece, or any such person of a preceding generation denoted by the prefixes grand-, great-, great-great-, or great-great-great.
  • The stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother or stepsister.
  • The spouse of any person named above, even after the marriage has been terminated by death or dissolution.

For Foster Care purposes, when a parent's rights to a child are terminated by the filing of a relinquishment with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) or by court action, that parent and his or her relatives are no longer considered to be the child's relatives.

Click here to view a Foster Care Caretaker Relative Documentation Chart.

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Financial Aid for Relatives  

A child placed with a relative generally qualifies for financial assistance through CalWORKs. If the relative does not have income of his/her own, the relative receives CalWORKs needy relative assistance. If the relative has income, the relative receives CalWORKs non-needy relative assistance.

Following an initial relative placement, an eligibility worker also makes the determination as to whether the child is eligible to receive federal foster care (AFDC-FC). The child's eligibility for AFDC-FC is based on the circumstances of the parent(s) or relative(s) (if child abuse/neglect was perpetrated by the relative) at the time the 300 Petition was filed or, if the child is placed on a voluntary basis, at the time the Voluntary Service Agreement was signed.   If the eligibility worker determines that the child is “federally eligible,” the eligibility worker sends the relative a form asking the relative to select between receiving AFDC-FC federal assistance or CalWORKs assistance.

If the relative chooses AFDC-FC, the relative may receive:

  • An initial clothing allowance and annual clothing allowance.
    • Clothing allowance procedures and clothing allowance amounts vary from county to county. In Santa Clara County, the social worker requests the initial clothing allowance and annual clothing allowances are generated by the Foster Care eligibility worker.
  • A monthly Special Care Increment (SCI) if the child has documented special needs requiring additional care and supervision.
    • The request for the first 6 months of SCI is initiated by the social worker. The social worker must reassess the child’s needs at least every 6 months thereafter and should request continuation of an appropriate SCI for a period of up to 6 months on an ongoing basis so long as the additional care and supervision is necessary.

If the relative selects CalWORKs, neither the initial clothing allowance nor the Special Care Increment is available.  The social worker can request a one-time sibling supplement for a relative caregiver to purchase supplies, equipment, furniture, etc. that are necessary to prepare the home for placement of a sibling group of three or more children.

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Financial Aid for NREFMs  

A child placed with a NREFM usually receives federal or state AFDC-FC assistance.  NREFMs are not viewed as relatives for the purposes of financial assistance and never qualify for CalWORKs assistance.

 

The NREFM may receive:

  • An initial clothing allowance and annual clothing allowance.
    • Clothing allowance procedures and clothing allowance amounts vary from county to county. In Santa Clara County, the social worker requests the initial clothing allowance and annual clothing allowances are generated by the Foster Care eligibility worker.

  • A monthly Special Care Increment (SCI) if the child has documented special needs requiring additional care and supervision.
    • The request for the first 6 months of SCI is initiated by the social worker. The social worker must reassess the child’s needs at least every 6 months thereafter and should request continuation of an appropriate SCI for a period of up to 6 months on an ongoing basis so long as the additional care and supervision is necessary.
       
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Child Placed Out-of-Home for the First Time  

If a child is placed in a relative home, and it is the first time a child has been placed out-of-home, the social worker advises the relative to apply immediately for Cal/WORKs assistance at one of offices below. By applying for Cal/WORKs as soon as possible, the relative avoids a delay in receiving some type of financial assistance, while the child's federal eligibility is being determined:

  • Assistance Application Center

San Jose, CA

(408) 271-5500

  • North County Office

Mt. View, CA

(650) 988-6100

  • South County Office

Gilroy, CA

(408) 846-3900

If the intake eligibility worker later finds the child to be federally eligible, the relative will receive a form from the eligibility worker asking the relative to select either AFDC-FC or CalWORKs assistance. It may several weeks for the federal eligibility determination to be made.

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Child has been Out-of-Home Placement   If the child, who has been in an out-of-home placement, is subsequently placed with a relative, the social worker consults with the child's eligibility worker about what to advise the relative in regards to funding.
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Effect of Corrective Action Plans  

See OPP Chapter 7-4: Alternative Plans and Corrective Action Plans

  • Generally, neither state nor federal AFDC-FC funding is available until the month in which the corrections as outlined on the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) are completed and the home fully meets the standards.
  • If the temporary placement assessment per WIC 309(d) or the initial regular approval assessment results in a CAP, regular placement cannot be made until the CAP is completed. 

 

  • For all CAPs, the social worker or designee (e.g., social worker I) is responsible for directly verifying that corrections are completed in-person within the required timeframes.




If following either a temporary or regular placement, a CAP is necessary:

  • For an Immediate Impact Deficiency that, if not corrected, would have a direct and immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of the foster child, the social worker must require immediate correction of the deficiency.
    • If immediate correction is not possible and until the CAP is completed, either:
      • The child must be removed from the caregiver,
        or
      • The circumstances of the placement must be modified to remove the risk to the child posed by the Immediate Impact Deficiency (e.g., firearms are move to another location until suitable arrangements are made to store the firearms at the caregiver’s home).


  • For a Potential Impact Deficiency that, if not corrected, could become a risk to the health, safety or personal rights of the foster child, the CAP should be completed within 30 days.
    • The worker must determine an appropriate completion date, but the child may remain with the caregiver.

    • A relative or NREFM caregiver receiving AFDC-FC funding may continue to receive this type of aid uninterrupted if all other standards are met and the CAP is completed within 30 days, that is:
      • Completed during the same calendar month in which the CAP was created
        or
      • Completed sometime during the calendar month following the month in which the CAP was created.
        • For example, a CAP is created on April 16, and the CAP is completed on May 15, AFDC-FC funding continues uninterrupted.
        • A relative or NREFM caregiver receiving AFDC-FC funding cannot continue to receive this type of aid if a CAP is in place and a full calendar month passes before the CAP is completed.
          • For example, if a CAP is created on April 16, and the CAP is not completed until June 1, the AFDC-FC should be discontinued as of May.

    • A relative can apply for CalWORKs assistance, if the child remains in the home.
      • The social worker must notify the child’s eligibility worker that the caregiver is not eligible for AFDC-FC.
      • State or federal AFDC-FC funding is not available until the month in which the CAP is completed and the home fully meets the standards.
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Change of Residence  

If the child's caregiver is receiving foster care funds, the foster care funds will be discontinued upon the family's moving out of the former residence and will not resume until the new residence is approved. Social workers are advised to let caregivers know that the social worker should be informed of a move before the move happens so that the new residence can be approved as soon as possible after the move.

See OPP Chapter 7-6 : Annual Reassessments and Updates

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Other References  
MS Word2 Foster Care Caretaker Relative Documentation Chart
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-4: Alternative Plans and Corrective Action Plans
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-6 : Annual Reassessments and Updates
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