Kinship Care is a program to help support a child who lives outside of his or her home with the relative.  The child may be living temporarily or long term with a relative (adult sibling, first cousin, nephew/niece, aunt/uncle, grandparent, or some other relatives by blood or marriage as defined by Wisconsin Ch. DCF 58.03 Administrative Code).
 
Kinship care helps a family support a child in the home of a relative that might be under stress or when the child has experienced abuse or neglect.  With this support, placing a child in a foster home or another out-of-home care setting may be avoided. For children in the child welfare system who cannot continue living at home with his or her parents, Kinship Care may be another placement option.
 
The eligibility and program requirements for Kinship Care are set forth in Wisconsin Chapter DCF 58 Administrative Code http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/dcf/021_099/58
 
There are three basic eligibility requirements for Kinship Care:
·          the basic needs of the child can be better met with the relative than with the parent
·          the placement is in the best interests of the child
·          the child currently or might meet the requirements to be in need of protection or services if the child were to remain with his or her parent(s)
 
Other requirements include:
·          a criminal background check on the relative caretaker and all adult household members;
·          cooperation with the agency by the relative caretaker
·          the relative caretaker must apply for other public assistance or benefits the child might be eligible for
·          the relative caretaker must cooperate with referring the parents to child support, unless the relative caretaker is granted an exemption
·          Kinship living arrangements and eligibility must be reviewed every 12 months
 
The amount of Kinship Care that can be provided for a child is determined by state statute. The current Kinship Care rate is $232.00 per month per child.