This is a financial stipend designed for transitioning a child into the home of a relative caregiver. These funds can only be distributed as the child is moving into a relative home and can be used for beds, dressers, clothing, initial food costs, infant equipment, etc. These funds are capped at the average cost of helping the relative adapt their home into that of a new caregiver. This is an agency-based support, not a statewide program.
Wayne County Job and Family Services provides a financial stipend for blood relatives that have kin placed in their home. Verification through a court or agency document is needed for these funds to be distributed. Birth certificates proving biological lineage are often requested. Eligibility for these funds is based on the income of the child. A child may receive income through child support or a Social Security disability check. Eligibility is NOT based on the relative’s household income. WCCS can assist a relative in applying for these funds or attend an appointment, if needed. These funds are available as long as the child remains in the relative’s home through age of emancipation.
Relatives can apply for childcare assistance through Job and Family Services. If a relative works or attends secondary education, day care expenses may be placed on a sliding fee scale if the household income meets the eligibility requirements. No financial assistance with day care is given through the agency’s general fund. OWF funds attained through JFS may also be used to assist with day care expenses.
We ask every relative caregiver to have at least two optional people to care for the children in case of a personal emergency. These “alternative caregivers” must also be approved by the agency. They can be neighbors, family members, and friends. There is an application process in which these alternatives are approved by agency staff and can be utilized by the relative caregiver for full time day care providers, as a weekend respite provider, or as needed in a crisis situation.
Relative are encouraged to fill out mileage reimbursement forms each month for case-related miles driven. Miles driven to parental visits, counseling appointments, and agency meetings are reimbursed at the employee rate that is customarily based off the federal Guideline. Completed and signed mileage forms are due to the agency the 3rd business date of the following month. They can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to 330-345-7155 Attn: Michele Haynes.
All relative and kinship providers are given the opportunity to attend ongoing trainings. These can be utilized for education to meet the special needs of children placed in the home or relatives can apply to be licensed foster parents. Relatives are given the opportunity to become licensed for the purpose of:
A) receiving a daily financial stipend for the reimbursement of expenses of the children placed in their home and
B) to assist with adoption proceedings if permanent options are needed for the children after all efforts have been exhausted for reunification.
Pre-service foster parent training and ongoing training schedules are available on the agency calendar.
This state-funded program is designed to promote a stable and permanent home for kin children by providing a financial support for caregivers over a three year period after receiving legal custody. These relatives must obtain a court order of legal custody. The relative applies for this support in the county in which the caregiver resides which may differ from the county in which the child had an open WCCS case. This program is also for families who have made legal custody arrangements outside the assistance of WCCS. The requirements for this program are: a court order giving the provider legal custody, a home study conducted by a caseworker including fingerprints, and proof of current wages. Eligibility for this program is based on household income of the relative provider and is currently 300% of poverty level. WCCSB Placement Department can assist with the application process for this financial support.
For questions, please contact Dee Williams at 330-345-5340 ext 2214.
This is a statewide group that meets bi-monthly in Columbus to discuss legislation and topics that pertain to grandparent and kinship caregivers. WCCS staff regularly attend this meeting to remain educated regarding opportunities available for caregivers. Please visit that Ohio Kinship Grandparent Coalition website via the link below for more information.