2012 New York Consolidated Laws
SOS - Social Services
Article 6 - CHILDREN
Title 10 - (458-A - 458-F) KINSHIP GUARDIANSHIP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
458-B - Kinship guardianship assistance payments.


NY Soc Serv L § 458-B (2012) What's This?
 
    §  458-b.  Kinship  guardianship  assistance  payments.  1. A child is
  eligible for kinship guardianship assistance payments under  this  title
  if the social services official determines the following:
    (a)  The  child  has  been in foster care for at least six consecutive
  months in the home of the prospective relative guardian; and
    (b) The child being returned  home  or  adopted  are  not  appropriate
  permanency options for the child; and
    (c)  The  child  demonstrates  a  strong attachment to the prospective
  relative guardian and the prospective relative  guardian  has  a  strong
  commitment to caring permanently for the child; and
    (d)  That  age  appropriate consultation has been held with the child,
  provided however with respect to a child who has attained fourteen years
  of age,  that  the  child  has  been  consulted  regarding  the  kinship
  guardianship  arrangement,  and with respect to a child who has attained
  eighteen years of age, that the  child  has  consented  to  the  kinship
  guardianship arrangement.
    (e)  (i)  If  the  child  has been placed into foster care pursuant to
  article ten or ten-C of the family court act, that both the fact finding
  hearing pursuant to section one thousand fifty-one of the  family  court
  act  or  section  one  thousand  ninety-five  of  the  family court act,
  respectively, and the first permanency hearing pursuant to paragraph two
  of subdivision (a) of section one thousand  eighty-nine  of  the  family
  court act have been completed; or
    (ii) for all the other children, that the first permanency hearing has
  been completed.
    (f)  The  financial  status of the prospective relative guardian shall
  not be considered in determining eligibility  for  kinship  guardianship
  assistance payments.
    2.  (a)  A  prospective  relative  guardian who has been caring for an
  eligible foster child for  at  least  six  consecutive  months  and  who
  intends  to seek guardianship or permanent guardianship of the child may
  apply to the social services official who has custody, care and custody,
  or guardianship and custody of the child to receive kinship guardianship
  assistance payments,  non-recurring  guardianship  payments,  and  other
  applicable services and payments available under this title on behalf of
  the child.
    (b)  Applications  shall only be accepted prior to issuance of letters
  of guardianship of the child to the relative guardian  pursuant  to  the
  provisions  of  the  family court act or the surrogate's court procedure
  act.
    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of  law  to  the  contrary,  a
  prospective  relative  guardian  and any person over the age of eighteen
  living in the home of the prospective  relative  guardian  who  has  not
  already  been  subject  to  a national and state criminal history record
  check pursuant to section three hundred seventy-eight-a of this  article
  as  part  of the process of the prospective relative guardian becoming a
  certified or approved foster parent must complete such a record check in
  accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in  such  section
  prior  to  the social services official acting upon the application. The
  social services official must inquire of  the  office  of  children  and
  family  services  whether  each  prospective  relative guardian and each
  person over the age of eighteen living in the home  of  the  prospective
  relative  guardian  has been or is currently the subject of an indicated
  report of child abuse or maltreatment on file with the statewide central
  register of  child  abuse  and  maltreatment  and,  if  the  prospective
  relative  guardian or any other person over the age of eighteen residing
  in the home of the prospective  relative  guardian  resided  in  another
  state  in  the five years preceding the application, request child abuse

  and  maltreatment  information  maintained  by  the  child   abuse   and
  maltreatment  registry  from the applicable child welfare agency in each
  such state of previous residence, if such a request has not been made as
  part  of  the  process  of  the prospective relative guardian becoming a
  certified or approved foster parent.
    3. If the social  services  official  determines  that  the  child  is
  eligible  for  kinship guardianship assistance payments and it is in the
  best interests of the  child  for  the  relative  to  become  the  legal
  guardian  of the child, the social services official shall enter into an
  agreement  with  the  prospective  relative  guardian  authorizing   the
  provision  of  kinship  guardianship  assistance payments, non-recurring
  guardianship payments, and other services and payments  available  under
  this  title  subject  to  the  issuance  by  the  court  of  letters  of
  guardianship of the child to the prospective relative guardian  and  the
  child  being  finally  discharged  from foster care to such relative. In
  determining whether it is in the best interests of  the  child  for  the
  relative  to  become  the  relative  guardian  of  the child, the social
  services official must determine and document  that  compelling  reasons
  exist for determining that the return home of the child and the adoption
  of  the  child  are  not  in  the  best  interests of the child and are,
  therefore, not appropriate permanency  options.  A  copy  of  the  fully
  executed  agreement  must be provided by the social services official to
  the prospective relative guardian.
    4. (a) Payments and eligibility for services under this title shall be
  made pursuant  to  a  written  agreement  between  the  social  services
  official and the prospective relative guardian.
    (b)  The written agreement shall specify, at a minimum: the amount of,
  and manner in which, each kinship guardianship assistance  payment  will
  be provided under the agreement; the manner in which the payments may be
  adjusted periodically, in consultation with the relative guardian, based
  on  the  circumstances  of  the  relative  guardian and the needs of the
  child; the additional services and assistance that  the  child  and  the
  relative  guardian will be eligible for under the agreement, which shall
  be limited to the additional services and assistance set forth  in  this
  title;  the  procedures  by  which  the  relative guardian may apply for
  additional services, as needed; that the social services  official  will
  pay  the  total  cost of nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining
  legal guardianship of the child, to the extent the total cost  does  not
  exceed  two  thousand  dollars  in  accordance with section four hundred
  fifty-eight-c of this title; and, that  the  agreement  will  remain  in
  effect  regardless of the state of residence of the relative guardian at
  any time.
    (c) The agreement must be fully executed  prior  to  the  issuance  of
  letters  of  guardianship of the child to the relative guardian in order
  for the child to be eligible for payments and services under this title.
    (d) Payments pursuant to this section may be made by direct deposit or
  debit  card,   as   elected   by   the   recipient,   and   administered
  electronically,  and  in  accordance  with  section twenty-one-a of this
  chapter and with such guidelines as may be set forth  by  regulation  of
  the  office  of children and family services. The office of children and
  family services may enter into  contracts  on  behalf  of  local  social
  services  districts  for  such  direct deposit or debit card services in
  accordance with section twenty-one-a of this chapter.
    5. Once the prospective relative guardian with whom a social  services
  official  has  entered  into an agreement under subdivision four of this
  section has been issued letters of guardianship for the  child  and  the
  child  has  been finally discharged from foster care to such relative, a

  social  services  official  shall  make  monthly  kinship   guardianship
  assistance payments for the care and maintenance of the child.
    6.  The  amount of the monthly kinship guardianship assistance payment
  made  pursuant  to  this  section  shall  be  determined   pursuant   to
  regulations  of  the office. The amount of the monthly payment shall not
  be less than seventy-five per centum of the applicable  board  rate  nor
  more  than  one  hundred  per  centum  of such rate as determined by the
  social services district in  accordance  with  the  regulations  of  the
  office;  provided,  however, that the rate chosen by the social services
  district shall be equal to the rate used by the  district  for  adoption
  subsidy payments under section four hundred fifty-three of this article.
  The  social services official shall consider the financial status of the
  prospective relative guardian or relative guardian only for the  purpose
  of determining the amount of the payments to be made.
    7.  (a)  Kinship guardianship assistance payments shall be made to the
  relative guardian or guardians until the child's eighteenth birthday or,
  if the child had attained sixteen years  of  age  before  the  agreement
  became  effective,  until  the  child  attains  twenty-one  years of age
  provided the child is: (i) completing secondary education or  a  program
  leading  to  an  equivalent  credential; (ii) enrolled in an institution
  which provides post-secondary or vocational  education;  (iii)  employed
  for  at least eighty hours per month; (iv) participating in a program or
  activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment; or  (v)
  incapable  of  any  of such activities due to a medical condition, which
  incapability is supported by regularly updated information in  the  case
  plan of the child.
    (b)  Notwithstanding  paragraph  (a)  of  this subdivision, no kinship
  guardianship assistance payments may be made pursuant to this  title  if
  the social services official determines that the relative guardian is no
  longer  legally  responsible  for the support of the child, including if
  the status of the legal guardian is terminated or the child is no longer
  receiving any  support  from  such  guardian.  In  accordance  with  the
  regulations  of  the  office, a relative guardian who has been receiving
  kinship guardianship assistance payments on behalf of a child under this
  title must keep the social services  official  informed,  on  an  annual
  basis,  of  any  circumstances  that  would  make  the relative guardian
  ineligible for such payments or eligible for  payments  in  a  different
  amount.
    8.  The  placement  of  the  child  with the relative guardian and any
  kinship guardianship assistance payments made on  behalf  of  the  child
  under  this  section  shall  be  considered never to have been made when
  determining the eligibility for adoption subsidy  payments  under  title
  nine of this article of a child in such legal guardianship arrangement.

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