Placement of Children With Relatives: Summary of State Laws
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relative placements in their statutes.
Approximately six States,Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands donot address the issue of the placement of children for fostercare with relatives in their statutes.
The remaining Statesuse statutory language such as “may consider” placementwith relatives.Each State denes “relative” differently, including relativesthrough blood, marriage, or adoption ranging from the rst tothe fth degree. Generally, preference is given to the child’sgrandparents, followed by aunts, uncles, adult siblings, andcousins. For Indian children, six States allow members of thechild’s Tribe to be considered “extended family members” forplacement purposes.
The main requirements for placement are that the relative be“t and willing,” able to ensure the child’s safety, and able tomeet the child’s needs. Approximately 23 States and the Districtof Columbia require relatives to undergo a criminal backgroundcheck that may include all adult members of the household.
Approximately 14 States and the District of Columbia haveestablished “kinship care” or “relative caregiver” programsby statute to provide relatives with benets to help offset thecost of caring for a placed child.
Nine States address fostercare payments for kin caregivers in statute.
In these States, if a relative meets the qualications for being a foster parent, he
Preference toRelatives FinancialSupport