Kinship

Kinship caregivers are relatives, friends, neighbors and other people with a significant relationship to the child, youth or family. Kinship caregivers provide care and protection to children and youth who cannot remain safely in their home due to issues including:
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Mental health
  • Domestic violence
  • Death of a parent
  • Financial hardships
  • Military deployments

As kinship caregivers, you are not alone. You are a member of a large and growing community of caring people in Colorado.

Order free full-color kinship family supports brochures with resources and information for Colorado kinship families.

Kinship Adoption Program

CDHS partners with a local law firm to offer free legal services for adoption to kinship caregivers in the Metro Denver area. To qualify, caregivers:

  • Must live in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas or Jefferson Counties
  • Must be a citizen of the United States or lawfully present
  • Must be a relative of or have a significant relationship with the child or youth
  • Must be willing to make a long-term commitment to the child or youth
  • Must have been caring for the child or youth for the last 12 months or more

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • No current child welfare involvement or pattern of child welfare involvement
  • The adoption cannot be contested by more than one parent
  • Household income may not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

Kinship caregivers not eligible for the Kinship Adoption Project may contact their local Colorado Legal Services office or Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center.

Kinship Toolkit
Kinship Family Foster Care and Non-Certified Kinship Care Comparison

The primary differences between Kinship Family Foster Care and Non-Certified Kinship Care are identified below. The county department will address any other requirements.

Kinship Family Foster Care Non-Certified Kinship Care

Requirements:

  • Fingerprint-based background checks with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • A background check for confirmed child abuse/neglect in Colorado and all states where any adults in the home have resided for the past five years
  • A check of the CBI and National Sexual Offender Registries by name and address for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • A check of the Colorado Judicial database for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • An application to provide foster care
  • SAFE home study
  • Financial assets/liabilities
  • Monthly visits in the kinship foster home for supervision and support of the foster parent
  • Monthly visits with the child/youth generally provided by the caseworker to assure the safety and well-being of the child/youth
  • Affidavit of citizenship
  • Current health evaluations for everyone in the home
  • Copies of drivers license and auto insurance for anyone transporting the child/youth (with the county department's approval)
  • Copies of pet vaccinations
  • 27 hours of pre-certification training, CPR/First Aid
  • 20 hours of annual training for recertification
  • Home inspection to meet certification requirements
    • County department director or designee may waive certain non-safety certification standards

Requirements:

  • Fingerprint-based background checks with the CBI and the FBI for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • A background check for confirmed child abuse/neglect in Colorado and all states any adults in the home have resided for the past five years
  • A check of the CBI and National Sexual Offender Registries by name and address for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • A check of the Colorado Judicial database for all adults age 18 and older living in the home
  • An application to provide kinship care
  • SAFE or modified SAFE home study, or a written county assessment
  • Home inspection
  • Monthly visits with the child/youth generally provided by the caseworker to assure the safety and well-being of the child/youth
  • Training hours may be required, depending on the county department's policy (0-27 hours)

Possible Benefits:

  • Reimbursement for child/youth maintenance from the county department with custody (based on the child's/youth's needs and county policy)
  • Medicaid for the child/youth through the county department with custody - if the child/youth is not in the country legally, the county department must purchase an insurance policy
  • Title IV-E Waiver Kinship Supports in participating counties

Possible Benefits:

  • Child-only financial assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)based on verification of the kinship caregiver's legal custody of the child/youth (for children/youth who are in the country legally)
  • Kin may apply for Medicaid assistance through TANF in the county of the kin provider's residence or enroll the child/youth on private insurance
  • Title IV-E Waiver Kinship Supports in participating counties
  • Some county departments have additional kinship support services and kinship support staff

 

Kinship Navigation Guide

The Navigation Guide provides local and statewide information about organizations and programs that may be useful for kinship caregivers. Download the guide in English or Spanish.