When a child is placed in your home by the Division of Child Safety, your food and other expenses will increase. It is possible that the child placed with you will be eligible for Cash Assistance monthly benefits through the Family Assistance Administration (FAA). This is money you can use to help pay for food and other expenses of having the child in your home. The benefit is approximately $164 per month for the first child and increases somewhat with each additional child who is placed with you (approximately $220 per month for 2 children, approximately $278 per month for 3 children, approximately $335 per month for 4 children, etc.). It is your responsibility to apply for these benefits.
To apply for Cash Assistance, you must complete the forms "Application for Benefits" (FA-001) and "TANF/CA Contact Form" (FAA-1091AFORNA). You can get those forms at any FAA office, from your DCS Specialist, or mailed to you by the Kinship Specialist reached at 602-255-2628 or on the internet at https://egov.azdes.gov/cmsinternet/appforms.aspx. People with DCS open cases should NOT apply for Child-Only Cash Assistance TANF on line.
Only apply for Cash Assistance on the FA-001 (not medical or nutrition assistance) just for the children placed with you by DCS. You are Person 1 on page 3 and must complete the "Personal Information." Answer all question areas with a "$" over it. Person 2 is another person in your household (you must record ALL persons living in your home). Under "Personal Information" for the DCS-placed children, show they are "Grandchild" or "Niece/nephew" as appropriate and also in that area there is "Other;" check that box also and write "unlicensed foster care." Request cash assistance for the placed children ONLY, not for any other children.
Give the completed forms to your DCS Specialist who will complete the submission process. DO NOT give the forms to FAA yourself. After you have given the completed forms to the DCS Specialist and the DCS Specialist has emailed the forms to FAA, FAA will contact you within 5 days to schedule an interview which can be either in person or on the telephone. It is important to keep all appointments with FAA. If you miss a scheduled appointment, you must call to re-schedule it the same day you missed the appointment. If you do not, your application will be denied and you will have to re-apply (this means filling out both forms again and giving them to your DCS Specialist again).
After the interview, FAA sends you an approval notice, a denial notice, or a request for further information. If you get an approval notice, the benefit will be deposited into the EBT ("QUEST") card. If you get a denial notice on any child and you are his/her grandparent or great-grandparent, apply for the Grandparent Stipend through DCS.
If you have any questions about completing the forms or want to check the status of your application, call FAA's customer service line at 1-855-432-7587 during business hours.
BENEVILLA FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER
16752 N. Greasewood St.
Surprise AZ 85378
Kinship support groups in Surprise, Peoria, Glendale, Wickenburg, and Wittmann
Community resource and referral
Help completing HealtheAZ applications
Lending library (books and videos)
Play groups for caregivers/children 0-5
Emergency diaper bank
Family fun events
555 W. Glendale Avenue
Phoenix AZ 85021
Grandparent/Kinship support groups in Phoenix, Buckeye, Goodyear
Social activities for "Grand families"
Benefit and legal guidance
Serves all of Maricopa County
FAMILY INVOLVEMENT CENTER
Parent Assistance Center
5333 N. 7th St., Ste. A-100
Phoenix AZ 85014
Betty Hurtado/Zira Franks
(602) 288-0155 / (877) 568-8468
Relatives as parents/caregivers support group
Services in English and Spanish/child care provided
Information and referral
Assistance/advocacy with child-serving agencies
Youth development and support services
State-wide support line
Parent empowerment, education, skills and training
CHILD CRISIS ARIZONA
170 W. University Dr.
Mesa AZ 85201
Jeff Fulkerson (Kinship Connections)
(480) 834-9424, ext. 4590
Kinship support group
Relatives as Parents class (adult)
Parenting skills training
Anger management for the family
Children's self-development classes
Parent workshops (diverse subjects)
Community resource referral
AZ KINSHIP SUPPORT SERVICES
6401 S. 16th St
Phoenix AZ 85042
Navigator Phone Line 480-748-9269
Information and referral
Parenting education and training
Kinship Information Sessions and Adoption vs Guardianship training (for DCS kin caregivers only)
Legal resources (T-14 Guardianship and Adoption)
Foster licensing/adoption support
Assistance/advocacy with government agencies
Connect to food, clothing, housing resources
Serves all of Maricopa County
Kin often tell DCS to send all the children to them, that you will "find a way" to make it work. You need and deserve financial assistance for the children who are placed with you. Below is a listing of potential sources of financial assistance.
Personal and Clothing Allowance also known as Daily Allowance:
This is a check sent to you monthly for each child placed with you through DCS. The amount you get is based upon the age of the child (0-12 months is $78.90 per month, 1-2 years is $44.40, 3-5 is $18.90, 6-11 is $33.60, 12 and up is $52.80). You will get a "CHILDS billing statement" in the mail. You must verify the dates the child was in your home, sign and date it, and using your own envelope and postage, mail back the white copy to Payment Processing and keep the yellow copy for yourself. Many kinship foster caregivers receive the CHILDS billing statement in the mail and do not understand that they must complete and return it. The DCS Specialist does paperwork to get these monthly payments started coming to you. If a child was placed with you January 2, you should get the first CHILDS billing statement during the second week of February. The sooner you return the billing statement correctly completed to DCS Payment Processing, the sooner you will get the actual check in the mail. If you do not get a CHILDS billing statement in the mail within six weeks of when the children were placed, please let your DCS Specialist know. This is the only ongoing financial assistance for all kinship foster caregivers that is initiated by the agency and goes to everyone.
TANF Cash Assistance:
This is the main source of financial assistance for unlicensed relatives or unlicensed non-relatives. Do not go to a Family Assistance Administration office to submit the paperwork. You should apply for this benefit for each child placed in your home by DCS by completing the two forms (FA-001 and FAA-1091) and giving them to the DCS Specialist who will scan them and email them to a special place at the Family Assistance Administration (FAA). Prompted by the email, FAA will schedule a telephone interview with you. An eligibility determination will be made for each child. A letter will be sent to you saying that each child is approved for or denied benefits. You will receive $164 per month for one approved child, $220 for two children, $278 for three children, $335 for four children, $392 for five children, $449 for six children, $506 for seven children. Benefits are paid through an EBT card which is "loaded" each month. Specific guidance has been written for what you do in order to apply for Cash Assistance and specifically what the DCS case managers does in the process also. Payment will not be made in arrears, so the date the application is received by FAA is the date benefits start from for approved applications. Therefore it is important that you apply for Cash Assistance when the children are placed. Once a child is approved for benefits, then you participate in a simple re-determination process every six months. Do not to assume that all the placed children will be approved for Cash Assistance. Some children will be denied benefits.
Grandparent Stipend Program:
This program is available to grandparents and great-grandparents who have children placed with them by DCS. The benefit is $75 per month per child. You apply for this program by completing the form CSO-1266A "Grandparent Stipend Eligibility." There is an income requirement which is 200% of the 2013 Federal Poverty Guideline. This program is funded on a yearly basis based upon legislative appropriation; check with your DCS Specialist to make sure the program is currently available. A grandparent cannot participate in this program AND receive TANF Cash Assistance or foster care maintenance payments (licensure). If you receive Grandparent Stipend and later qualify for TANF Cash Assistance or become licensed, you must notify the Grandparent Stipend Program to stop your payments.
Foster Parent Licensing:
Generally speaking but dependent upon the progress toward reunification, licensing is recommended as the best way to financially support a kinship foster family. You may be ineligible for licensure or you may choose not to pursue getting a foster home license. If you choose to become licensed as a family foster home for specific relative children, you are subject to the same licensing standards as are regular family foster homes, but certain non-safety standards may be waived for kin in order to promote kin licensure. Licensing requires paperwork, an in-depth home study, 30 hours of training, a class 1 fingerprint clearance card, a physical examination, and a home inspection. Some requirements will also involve other adult household members. Licensed foster parents receive approximately $600 per month per child in foster care maintenance payments.
Auxiliary Payment and Special Allowances/Supplemental Financial Supports:
- Emergency clothing up to $150 per fiscal year for emergency clothing
- Emergency clothing (extra in case of fire or theft) up to $100 per fiscal year
- Books/education up to $82.50 per school year for dependent children for books, supplies, course fees, physical education fees (pre-school through college, technical, vocation schools)
- Supplemental school tuition and fees up to $165 per session for summer sessions or interim session at year-round schools
- Graduation expenses maximum $220 for high school cap, gown, ring, yearbook or other fees
- Special needs allowance maximum $22.50 per year for expenses related to holidays, birthday and special occasions (Independent Living Subsidy youth not eligible)
- Passport allowance one-time reimbursement for a passport book or card (receipt required)
- Special diaper allowance maximum $62.50 per month; authorized monthly with medical documentation for children who require diapers for a special medical condition