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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 201. Permanency Services - Prevention, Foster Care, Adoption and Independent Living
5/22/2024

22VAC40-201-210. State-Funded Kinship Subsidy.

A. The purpose of the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy, also known as the State-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, is to facilitate placements with relatives and ensure permanency for children who are ineligible for the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, as outlined in § 63.2-1305 of the Code of Virginia.

B. A child is eligible for the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy if:

1. The child has been removed from the child's home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as a result of a judicial determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child;

2. The child has been in the custody of the local department for at least 90 days;

3. The child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective kinship guardian, and the prospective kinship guardian has a strong commitment to caring permanently for the child;

4. The child has been consulted regarding the kinship subsidy if the child is 14 years of age or older;

5. The requirements for a transfer of custody of the child to the prospective kinship guardian for the purpose of establishing eligibility for the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy have been met; and

6. The child is not eligible for the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, as outlined in § 63.2-1305 of the Code of Virginia.

C. If a child does not meet the eligibility criteria set forth in subsection B of this section but has a sibling who meets such criteria, the child may be placed in the same State-Funded Kinship Subsidy arrangement as the child's eligible sibling if the local department and kinship guardian agree that such placement is appropriate. In such cases, the kinship subsidy may be paid on behalf of each sibling so placed.

D. A prospective kinship guardian is eligible for the State Funded Kinship Subsidy if the kinship guardian:

1. Completes a relative foster home approval; or

2. Completes a home study and background check, is found to have no convictions for any barrier crime as outlined in 42 USC § 671(a)(20), and qualifies for at least one of the following exemptions from the kinship foster home approval process:

a. The kinship guardian lives in another state and is unable to meet non-safety related approval requirements imposed by their state;

b. The kinship guardian has made attempts to satisfy the training requirements for foster home approval but is unable to complete all training requirements; or

c. The kinship guardian's home is unable to meet the foster parent approval standards and establishing permanency with the kinship guardian through a State-Funded Kinship Subsidy is in the child's best interest, as determined by the department.

E. Once the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement becomes effective in accordance with subsection K of this section, foster care payments will cease and kinship subsidy payments will begin. The State-Funded Kinship Subsidy provides state-funded basic maintenance only. The basic maintenance payment will increase only when (i) the child reaches an age at which the foster care maintenance rate would increase or (ii) statewide increases are approved for foster care maintenance rates.

F. The local department shall inform the prospective kinship guardian of the Medicaid application process to support continuation of benefits after custody transfer.

G. The kinship guardian shall be required under the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement to keep the local department informed of the circumstances that would make them ineligible for a maintenance payment or eligible for a different amount of maintenance payment than that specified in the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement.

H. Children with a State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement are eligible for foster care services under § 63.2-905 of the Code of Virginia, including a full range of casework, treatment, and community services. The kinship guardian may request services through the family assessment and planning team (FAPT) in accordance with state and local policies and procedures.

I. A representative of the department shall approve all State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreements, including all exemptions from the foster home approval process as outlined in subdivision D 2 of this section.

J. A State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement shall be entered into by the local board and the kinship guardian for a child who has been approved by the department for State-Funded Kinship Subsidy payments. Local departments shall use the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement form provided by the department.

K. The State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement shall:

1. Be signed prior to legal custody transfer of the child to the kinship guardian;

2. Specify the monthly amount to be provided;

3. Become effective on the date that the judge signs the court order transferring legal custody of the child to the kinship guardian; and

4. Absent modification or revocation of the kinship guardianship, remain in effect and governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia regardless of the state to which the kinship guardian may relocate.

L. The kinship guardian shall:

1. Annually submit a signed State-Funded Kinship Subsidy affidavit to the local department by the date that the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement was effective; and

2. Report changes in circumstances to the local department as outlined in the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement.

M. The local department is responsible for the following:

1. Maintaining payments identified in the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement, regardless of where the family resides;

2. Notifying kinship guardians who are receiving State-Funded Kinship Subsidy payments that the annual affidavit is due;

3. Assisting the kinship guardian in coordinating services to meet the child's needs upon request; and

4. Notifying the kinship guardians of a suspension or termination in payments or foster care services.

N. The State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement shall be terminated when the child reaches the age of 18 years.

O. The State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement shall not be terminated before the child's 18th birthday without the consent of the kinship guardian unless:

1. The kinship guardian adopts the child subsequent to the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement and transfer of legal custody. The kinship guardian and a representative of the department shall negotiate adoption assistance payments independently from any negotiated terms of the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy agreement.

2. The kinship guardian requests in writing that the agreement ends.

3. The kinship guardian fails to comply with the annual review process.

4. The kinship guardian is no longer legally responsible for the care of the child.

5. The kinship guardian is not providing any financial support for the child.

6. The kinship guardian dies or becomes incapacitated.

7. The kinship guardian and the local department agree in writing to terminate the agreement.

P. Local boards of social services are responsible for informing kinship guardians in writing of their right to appeal decisions relating to the child's eligibility for the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy and decisions relating to payments within 30 days of receiving written notice of such decisions. In accordance with § 63.2-915 of the Code of Virginia, applicants for and recipients of the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy shall have the right to appeal these decisions by a local board or licensed child-placing agency in granting, denying, changing, or discontinuing State-Funded Kinship Subsidy payments.

Q. Approval of the State-Funded Kinship Subsidy for a child is dependent on allotted funding from the General Assembly. Based on the funding allotted on an annual basis, priority will be given to the arrangements that would be least likely to achieve permanency with the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, as outlined in § 63.2-1305 of the Code of Virginia, including kinship guardians who meet an exemption from the foster home approval process, as outlined in subdivision D 2 of this section.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 2, eff. October 13, 2021.

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