Welcome to "Ask the Expert"!
Pose your Kinship-related questions to the State KSSP Coordinator. We will post a response within two business days.
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Question: Does my family qualify for the Kinship Support Service Program if my grandchild is a formal foster placement?
Answer: Yes, KSSP can support families in both formal and informal arrangements.
Question: Do I have to live in one of the 20 counties that have state sponsored KSSP programs to receive kinship services?
Answer: Every county provides a different level of services for kinship families. We recommend you refer to the map on our home page to find out what may be available in your area.
Question: Do I have to be a blood relative to qualify for kinship services?
Answer: If you are a non-related extended family member (NREFM), you are eligible for kinship services. Examples of NREFM relationships include, god parents, step family members, and friends of the family.
Question: If I care for my niece or nephew during the day or on the weekends, am I eligible for kinship services?
Answer: Kinship caregivers are defined as any relative or NREFM who is acting as the primary caregiver for a child in the absence of a biological parent or when the parent is mentally or physically unable to care for the child.
Question: I live in a county that does not have a state sponsored KSSP program. But the kinship child I am caring for is from a county that does have a KSSP program. Can we get services from that state sponsored program?
Answer: Families are eligible for KSSP services from the county they live in regardless of where the child is from.
NEW POSTED QUESTIONS:
Question: I am legal guardian of my grandchild. I now want to adopt him. Finances will be a problem. What is my first step?
Answer: Services and financial aid for the adoption process will vary from county to county. If you live in a county that has a state-contracted Kinship Program, contacting that program is the best place to start looking for help. If your county does not have a KSSP, contacting your county's adoption unit within the human/social services agency is a good place to start.
Question: Why do I call the 2 kinship centers in my county to sign up for services and no one ever calls me back? Is there a time frame that the kinship sites have in relation to returning phone calls?
Answer: There is not a standard time frame that each Kinship Program is required to respond to phone calls within. If you have trouble connecting with the Kinship Program in your county, please call the warm line: 1 (800) KIN-0047, Monday through Friday from 7am-9pm. A Kinship Navigator will be able to help you make the connection with your county's Kinship Program and begin accessing their services.
Question: What does the kinship program do for families that take in a child? Each Kinship Program offers a variety of support services to families?
Answer: These services will vary from county to county. Those counties with a state contracted Kinship Program offer case management, support groups, and case management along with other services. To find out what programs and services are available in your county, please visit our home page and click on your county on the California map.
Question: I have my niece and nephew living with me at the moment. They are considering foster children. I am not receiving any kind of help. What can I do to get financial assistance and place one of them in a special school? Since he has been diagnose with mild retardation. I have no children of my own. I am having a hard time adapting and I get no answers from their social worker. I am lost. I need all the help I can get. Please help me.
Answer: Many families are unaware of the services and supports that are available to them when they are raising the children of relatives. A good place to start is to talk with your social worker about any and all supports that the county can offer to help you in raising the children, and it's great that you've tried talking with him/her. Additionally, check the resources available in your county by clicking on your location on our map of California on the home page. Also, you can call the warm line: 1(800) KIN-0047 to talk with a Kinship Navigator about services available in your county.
Question: I have a child, what kinds of benefits do we receive from Kinship when we don't have enough money to take care of this child?
Answer: Each county in California has different resources and services available to its residents. To find out what services are available to you, please visit our home page and click on your county. Additionally, you can call the warm line: 1 (800) KIN-0047 talk with a Kinship Navigator that can help connect you with information and referrals for the county you live in.
Question: I need to get guardianship of my grandson who I have taken care of since he was 2yrs. What are the steps to take?
Answer: The guardianship process happens through the probate court system. By calling or visiting your local probate court, you can acquire more specific information around the guardianship process in your county. Additionally, you can contact your local Kinship Program by visiting your county's page on the map of California on our home page. Or, if you'd like to talk with someone in person, call the warm line: 1(800) KIN-0047 and a Kinship Navigator can connect you with your county's court information.
Question: I became the legal guardian for my grandson who is a special needs child in 2005, and it has been quite a struggle financially. He now receives SSI and child support from his bio-dad, but that barely covers his special ed needs. Can I receive KSSP services for my grandson?
Answer: Depending on the county that you live in, you should be eligible to receive services for your grandson. If your grandson was involved with Child Welfare Services in your county, you may be eligible for additional financial support. Also, some counties have Regional Centers. These centers offer a variety of services and supports for children with special needs and their families. For more specifics on resources in your county, please call 800-546-0047.
Question: My sister is caring for our older disabled sister, her son, and our younger brother (our mother passed away). What if any services would she qualify for?
Answer: If your sister is the primary caregiver for her nephew and younger brother, your sister should be eligibale for Kinship services in your county. the services differ from county to county. For more specifics on resources in your county, please call 800-546-0047. If your sister is looking for support with caring for your older, disabled sister, look in your Area Office On Aging. To gind the one near you, check out:http://www.aging.ca.gov/local_aaa/AAA_listing.asp.
Question: Can I receive Respite hours for my grandchildren?
Answer: Resources and services are different in every county. For more specifics on resources in your county, please call 800-546-0047.
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