Guardianship Assistance Program

Effective July 1, 2019, caregivers who are at least level 1 licensed and meet other criteria are able to participate in the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) if the case is discharged at permanent guardianship with relatives or fictive kin. They may also be eligible for GAP benefits, if they are a licensed foster home.  If the child is 16 or 17 years old when the Guardianship Assistance Agreement is signed, the child can be eligible for the Extension of Guardianship Assistance Program benefits until 21 years old, as long as the child is participating at least one of the qualifying activities. Below are the eligibility requirements and benefits of participating in the program.

Available Caregiver Benefits:

(if criteria are met)

 Monthly payment of $333 for support of the child.

 Medicaid benefits until 18 years of age (or 21 if eligible for   Extension of Guardianship Assistance Program).

 Tuition and fee exemption.

 Available for children living out of state.

 One-time payment to assist with costs of establishing permanent guardianship ($2,000 nonrecurring). 

Local Process:

Specialist:

ü  Create FSFN GAP page.

ü  Attend permanency staffing for level one licensed homes.

ü  Complete Guardianship Assistance Agreement with guardian.

ü  Determine which funding source is appropriate.

ü  Maintain communication and partnership with assigned Case Manager.

Case Manager:

ü  Prepare PG case plan with required information

o    Launch a new Case Plan Worksheet.

o    Remove the parents and add the guardians.

o    Required elements are required to be in the Visitation/Family Time Tab, specifically in the “What are the strengths of this placement” box.

ü  Maintain communication and partnership with assigned GAP specialist.

Program Requirements:

 Must be a licensed home.

 Child is eligible for foster care board payments with

    relative/fictive kin for at least six consecutive months.

 Guardian enters a Guardianship Assistance

    Agreement.

 Permanent Guardianship case plan includes:

-          Program Eligibility: The way the child meets the GAP eligibility requirements.

-          Appropriate Permanency: The way the department determined that reunification

or adoption is not appropriate.

-          Adoption Discussion with Guardian: Efforts to discuss adoption with the child’s permanent

guardian.

-          GAP Discussion with Parents: The efforts to discuss guardianship assistance with the child’s

parent or the reasons why efforts were not made.

-          Appropriate Placement: The reasons why a permanent placement with the prospective

relative is in the best interest of the child.

-          Siblings: The reasons why the child is separated from his or her siblings during placement, if

applicable.

-          Effort to Consult the Child: The efforts to consult the child, if the child is 14 years of age or

older, regarding the permanent guardianship arrangement.