KINSHIP CARE LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM
KEEPING CHILDREN OUT OF NON-RELATIVE FOSTER CARE
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
It can be difficult to know what to expect in Family Court. Generally, the Family Court staff cannot provide you with legal advice. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney to help you understand your options, and assist with petitions and court appearances. For a petition, you should be prepared to provide as much information as possible, including the names and addresses of the other parties, and the names and birth dates of the children. For court appearances, the court will want to know why the parents are unable to provide the children with care, and sometimes a hearing before a judge is necessary to resolve these issues.
The New York Kinship Care Navigator website is a great resource for kinship care families.
The law does have some requirements that a “suitable relative” be located before placing children in non-relative foster care. However, CPS may not be aware of all relatives who are available as a resource. You may need to speak with the CPS caseworker to make sure that they know you are available.
“Child only” grants are available to relatives caring for children. You can apply for the benefits by filling out a TANF grants application and submitting it to the Department of Social Services.
Depending on the case circumstances, you can file your own custody petition under Article 6 of the Family Court Act. If you need assistance, you can see if you qualify for our services by calling 853-3087.