The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program(KinGAP) is designed for a foster child to achieve a permanent placement with a person who has been the child’s foster parent for at least six months. The program provides financial support and in most cases medical coverage for the child to the guardian.
Who Can Apply for Guardianship?
First, a prospective guardian must be the foster parent of the child for a period of at least six months. Then, (1) any person who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or marriage; (2) any person who is related to a half-sibling of the child by blood, marriage, or adoption provided that the half-sibling is residing with the prospective guardian; or (3) any person with a positive relationship with the child, including a step-parent, godparent, neighbor, or family friend may apply to be the child’s guardian.
HOW DOES A FINDING OF GUARDIANSHIP AFFECT THE PARENTS' RIGHTS?
Where KinGAP is in place, the guardian has the right to make all necessary decisions regarding the child. However, unless the child has been freed for adoption, the biological parents retain their parental rights and may where appropriate maintain contact with the child including visits.
IS THERE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR GUARDIANSHIP?
Yes. The KinGAP guardian will receive financial support to help raise the child.
CAN PARENTS REGAIN CUSTODY OF A CHILD WHO IS IN GUARDIANSHIP?
Yes. A parent may petition for custody of a child in a guardianship where appropriate. It would then be up to the parties and/or the court to determine if it would be in the child’s best interest to return to the parents.
AM I ENTITLED TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION?
Yes. You always have the right to be represented in a legal proceeding. If you are seeking KinGAP guardianship you may be eligible for funds for an attorney through the KinGAP program.