Once it has been decided that a child is going to be removed from the home, it may be possible for the child to remain with a person the parent has identified as someone who would be willing to take over the care of the child(ren) during the time of separation.   Kinship care refers to care given to a child by relatives, such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, older siblings, etc.  Other persons having a relationship with the child, such as close family friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers, etc. may also be considered as a kinship caregiver.  Kinship caregivers step up to provide temporary and sometimes permanent care of children when the safety of the child is at risk.


Many children are fortunate to be cared for by kinship caregivers when their own parents are unable or unavailable to care for them.  If the placement is emergent, identifying information is collected regarding all members of the kinship home, a safety audit is completed of the home and a Child Welfare check with members of the kinship home is completed before leaving the child in the care of a kinship provider. The home study process is initiated by the next business day.  A home study will be completed within the next five days.  The home study includes criminal background checks on all persons over the age of 18 in the home, local, state and federal checks are completed.


The kinship worker will work with the agency and family to provide services to the family with the goal of reunification of the child(ren) with their parent(s).


The kinship caregiver may apply for cash benefits for the child, in agency custody, through DJFS if the child is related to the caregiver by blood.  There is no cash payment from Children Services to the kinship caregiver.


Kinship Permanency Incentive


If you are a kinship provider and have obtained custody of a child after July 1, 2005 you may be eligible for a limited time, incentive payment through children services.  The Kinship Permanency Incentive (KPI) Program was created to support children in the homes of family or friends who have committed to caring for children when birth parents cannot care for them.


Specific criteria must be met as follows:


  • On July 1, 2005, or thereafter, a court issued an order granting legal custody or legal guardianship to the kinship caregiver(s).  ANY TEMPORARY COURT ORDERS DO NOT APPLY.


  • The kinship caregiver(s) is a resident of the state of Ohio - application must be made in the county of the caregiver(s) residence.


  • The placement was approved by the public children services agency (PCSA) or private child placing agency (PCPS).  For children placed directly with a kinship caregiver by a court or relative, the PCSA shall assess the home in accordance with the requirements identified in paragraph (B) to (H) of rule 5101:2-42-18 of the Administrative Code prior to the approval of KPI.


  • The gross income of the kinship caregiver’s family, with the minor child, does not exceed three hundred percent (300%) of the federal poverty guidelines.


Eligible kinship caregiver(s) shall receive an initial amount per child to defray costs if initial placement and may receive additional amounts per child at six (6) month intervals to support the stability of the child's placement in the home. The maximum incentive amount may not exceed six (6) payments per child per placement or per kinship caregiver(s). The incentive amount for the kinship caregiver(s) shall not be provided for longer than a total of thirty-six (36) consecutive months during which time the child remains in the legal custody or legal guardianship of the kinship caregiver(s) and continues to meet the other eligibility requirements of the program.


Please contact Kelli Clark, Social Services Supervisor at 740-732-2392 for additional information or to obtain an application for KPI.