Dear DFS Kinship Caregiver,
Welcome to Foster Kinship! We are honored to get the opportunity to work with you on your kinship journey. We appreciate you stepping up and raising your relative's or family friend’s child. We know being a kinship caregiver is not an easy role, and we are here to support you along the way. And we know despite the love you have for the children, taking on additional children into your home can be stressful and overwhelming.
Foster Kinship is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exclusively serves kinship families in Nevada. We partner with the Department of Family Services (DFS) to provide several support services for kinship families. We will provide you with information, support, and resources for your kinship family.
Our In-home program will bring our services directly to you. We provide a detailed assessment of your family to ensure we review all the resources you qualify for such as cash assistance before you are licensed, providing your family with supportive items like diapers and clothing from Marcie’s Heart Donation Center, access to support groups, and 4-hours of respite care per month so you can get a break!
This packet includes several important items that provide you with an overview of the DFS Kinship Licensing Process. We have also created short videos explaining the process you can watch here:
Accurate information early on will allow kinship caregivers working with the child welfare system to make the best decisions for their family at the right time.
Kinship Information Sessions are held once a week for those who have recently received a relative placement through the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS). Sessions cover information on the Kinship Care Road Map, the kinship licensing process, child-only TANF, Foster Kinship Navigation Services, and community resources for kin families. The 90-minute sessions are free and include time for questions.
We have multiple session options, including an online webinar.
Most children living apart from their parents- including those living with family members- are eligible for child-only (non-needy) TANF cash assistance through the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, even if the family member they are living with is not eligible.
As a non-parent relative, you may apply for assistance for your child only. Before beginning to apply for any of the TANF programs, it is wise to obtain a copy of the application and the requirements to qualify.
Only families who are caring for a relative’s child who is in legal custody of Clark County Department of Family Services MAY be eligible for licensure as a relative/fictive kin foster parent. Getting licensed means you will receive financial reimbursement for caring for your relative. It does NOT mean you will have to take in additional children who are strangers to you. The license will be specific to the kin child already in your home.
The initial licensing process is first managed by Foster Kinship. You will not be able to move forward in the licensing process without completing several important, initial steps with us.
These steps include:
Step One: You will meet with a Foster Kinship Family Advocate who will be your partner through the process. They will help you with every step of the process.
Step Two: You need to complete the Universal Licensing Application in its entirety. This includes providing complete reference information for seven people who can offer perspective on your ability to care for a child. In addition, complete and sign the following: Release of Information, Disclosures, Discipline Policy, Disaster Plan, Floorplan, Statement of Understanding.
Step Three: You will need to gather documents such as your ID, Social Security Card, Proof of Income to support your application. These documents are listed on this checklist. We can help you understand what documents you need for your specific situation.
Step Four: You, and everyone over 18 in the home, will need to complete a second set of fingerprints. Your Foster Kinship Family Advocate will make the appointment with you.
Step Five: You will attend a five-week training course for kinship families to learn about the foster care system, licensing process, working in partnership with DFS and birth parents, managing behavior, dealing with grief and loss, and understanding permanency options such as reunification or adoption. Your Foster Kinship Family Advocate will sign you up for class. Childcare is provided.
Step Six: You will provide a negative TB test and a completed physical form by your doctor. If you are caring for a child under 12 months, you will need to provide proof of a flu shot and Tdap booster.
Step Seven: You will watch 3 or 4 short classes online and pass a simple quiz for each: Emergency Preparedness, Normalcy, LGBTQ 101, and Water Safety (if you have access to a pool).
Step Eight: You will complete CPR. Foster Kinship offers free courses including a hybrid online/in-person course. Childcare is provided.
Step Nine: If you are caring for a child age 6 or younger, you will complete a car seat safety course. Foster Kinship offers free courses including a hybrid online/in-person course. Childcare is provided.
If you get started on these steps now, you will be licensed before you know it. At Foster Kinship, we know this process can seem difficult and invasive. Many of us who work at Foster Kinship have gone through the process ourselves- so trust us when we say we really do get it. We are here to help you, answer your questions, and cheer you on along the way.
Thank you for keeping home in the family,
Ali Caliendo, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Foster Kinship