Wednesday, April 29, 2015

welfare - Kinship Care Program - eligibility for reimbursement

J.V. and R.V. v. DPW – Cmwlth. Court – April 29, 2015 – unreported memorandum opinion



Grandparents who took formal but voluntary custody of grandchildren,without any involvement of CYS, were not entitled to benefits under the Kinship Care Program to reimburse them for the care of their grandchildren.


The Kinship Care Program is intended to encourage family members to become involved in those instances “when it is necessary to remove a child from the child’s home.”  62 P.S. §1301.  County CYS agencies are required to notify grandparents and other adult relatives “of a dependent child within 30 days of the child’s removal from the child’s home when temporary legal and physical custody has been transferred to the county agency.”  62 P.S. §1303(a) (emphasis added). This transfer of custody may occur through a judicial adjudication of dependency under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa. C.S. §6351, or by a voluntary placement agreement between the parents and the county child welfare agency under 55 Pa. Code §3130.65.  The county agency must take custody if it determines that grounds for dependency exist. See Children, Youth and Families Bulletin 00-03-03, “Kinship Care Policy,” July 28, 2003.  Relatives who accept placement of children through the county children and youth services agency are eligible for the payments that are available to all foster parents.  62 P.S. §1303(c)(1)(i).


Grandparents’ efforts have been laudable. The purpose of the Kinship Care Program is to encourage what Grandparents did. However, until they satisfy the regulations that apply to foster parents, they are not eligible for kinship care payments.   For these reasons, we are constrained to affirm the order of the Bureau.




The opinion, though not reported, may be cited "for its persuasive value, but not as binding precedent."    210 Pa. Code 69.414.


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