BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)
Because of the opioid epidemic, more and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren.
Uncles and aunts are too, as well as friends or parents of the child’s friends.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently approved kinship funding to help people who have taken on the role of parents.
They won’t get rich on kinship funding.
And they’ll only get it if the child they’re caring for is in the county’s custody.
It’s $10.20 a day, about a third of what foster homes get.
“I wish it could be more,” said Jeff Felton, executive director of Belmont County Job and Family Services. “But compared with what we pay our foster parents, which is about $900 a month, we still have a ways to go to support our kinship providers. Kinship providers can become licensed as foster parents and then receive the same foster care per diem.”
And DJFS encourages them to pursue their foster care license.
They acknowledge it’s an intrusive process with a lot of training required.
But Felton says he is pleased that kinship providers are at least getting something.
He says the money will automatically come to them; they don’t need to apply for it.
Payments will be retroactive back to Dec. 29, the day the governor signed the bill.
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