Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 13. Adoption Assistance for Children with Special Needs

§ 63.2-1305. Federal-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance program.

A. The Federal-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance program is established to facilitate placements with relatives and ensure permanency for children for whom adoption or being returned home are not appropriate permanency options. Kinship guardianship assistance payments may include Title IV-E maintenance payments, state-funded maintenance payments, and nonrecurring expense payments made pursuant to this section.

B. A child is eligible for kinship guardianship assistance under the program if:

1. The child has been removed from his 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 was eligible for foster care maintenance payments under 42 U.S.C. § 672 or under state law while residing for at least six consecutive months in the home of the prospective kinship guardian;

3. Being returned home or adopted is not an appropriate permanency option for the child;

4. 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; and

5. The child has been consulted regarding the kinship guardianship if the child is 14 years of age or older.

C. If a child does not meet the eligibility criteria set forth in subsection B but has a sibling who meets such criteria, the child may be placed in the same kinship guardianship with his eligible sibling, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(31), if the local department and kinship guardian agree that such placement is appropriate. In such cases, kinship guardianship assistance may be paid on behalf of each sibling so placed.

D. In order to receive payments under 42 U.S.C. § 674(a)(5) or pursuant to the Children's Services Act (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.), the local department and the prospective kinship guardian of a child who meets the requirements of subsection B shall enter into a written kinship guardianship assistance agreement negotiated by the Department and containing terms providing for the following:

1. The amount of each kinship guardianship assistance payment, the manner in which such payments will be provided, and the manner in which such payments may be adjusted periodically, in consultation with the kinship guardian, on the basis of the circumstances of the kinship guardian and the needs of the child;

2. The additional services or assistance, if any, for which the child and kinship guardian will be eligible under the agreement;

3. The procedure by which the kinship guardian may apply for additional services as needed;

4. Subject to 42 U.S.C. § 673(d)(1)(D), assurance that the local department shall pay the total cost of nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining kinship guardianship of the child, to the extent that the total cost does not exceed $2,000; and

5. Assurance that the agreement shall remain in effect without regard to the state of residency of the kinship guardian.

E. A kinship guardianship assistance payment on behalf of a child pursuant to this section shall not exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid on behalf of the child had the child remained in a foster family home.

F. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the Federal-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance program that are necessary to comply with Title IV-E requirements, including those set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 673. The regulations may set forth qualifications for kinship guardians, the conditions under which a kinship guardianship may be established, the requirements for the development and amendment of a kinship guardianship assistance agreement, and the manner of payments on behalf of siblings placed in the same household.

G. For purposes of this section, "relative" means an adult who is (i) related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption or (ii) fictive kin of the child.

2018, cc. 769, 770; 2020, cc. 224, 366; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 254.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.