EES POLICY NO. 05-07-03

(Replaces EES Policy Memo 01-02-02)

RE:  Clarification Between TANF and Financial Support from Provider to Out of Home Relative Caretakers


Contact Person: Paula Gibson

 Where Posted on Web:

FROM:   Bobbi Mariani, Director, EES      

KEESM Reference: 2210, 2833, 4420

DATE:    July 13, 2005    

Other Manual Reference: 

Primary DCF Areas Affected: TANF/Child Care

This memo addresses handling TANF applications for children in out of home placements with a relative and has been updated to reflect current policy and terminology. There have been several questions raised around this issue and it is evident that the terminology and procedures are unclear regarding payments to relatives with whom children are placed and who are served by Child Welfare Community Based Service (CWCBS) providers (known as Foster Care or Child Welfare contractors prior to 7/1/05).

The goal of this Memo is to:

  • provide EES staff with guidelines regarding TANF eligibility;
  • eliminate duplicate payments to the household; and
  • emphasize the importance of communication between Children and Family Services (PPS) social workers and EES staff.

CWCBS providers must offer each relative the choice of whether they want to receive financial support from the CWCBS provider, receive Temporary Assistance Needy to Families (TANF), if eligible, or become the payee for benefits the child is eligible to receive (e.g., SSI, SSA.) When the relative chooses financial support from the CWCBS provider, the provider should encourage the relative to become a licensed or approved foster home through KDHE, as payments to KDHE licensed or approved homes are eligible for Title IV-E reimbursement. However, placement of a child and payment to the relative is not contingent upon the relative becoming a licensed or approved foster home through KDHE.

When the relative chooses financial support from the CWCBS provider and begins receiving payments for the child(ren), there is no TANF eligibility for the child(ren). If the relative wishes to pursue becoming a licensed or approved home, there can be TANF eligibility during the interim period before the approval unless the CWCBS provider makes payments during this period. If the CWCBS provider makes payments to the family, the child(ren) is not eligible for TANF but may be eligible for other programs such as food assistance or child care. In such instances, the child care would be Income Eligible Employed (IE EM). The CWCBS provider becomes responsible for child care costs once the relative is licensed as a foster home. See KEESM 2833. For food assistance purposes, children receiving CWCBS payments are considered foster children and the policies listed in KEESM 4220 apply.

If the relative caretaker chooses to receive TANF payments, the relative will be directed to make application with EES. Again, the CWCBS provider may make payments to the family while the TANF application is being processed. As the family may not receive both a TANF payment and any kind of foster care payments (including these temporary payments) for a child in the same month, TANF cannot be approved for a month until these payments are terminated. Coordination with PPS will be necessary to ensure CWCBS provider payments cease in one month and the TANF payment begins the next month to avoid duplicate payments. Clarification of duplicate payments is in KEESM Section 2210. If a duplicate payment is made in error, the TANF benefit will be determined an overpayment and will need to be recouped through normal repayment procedures (see KEESM 11120 and subsections). Staff should refer to KEESM 2833 and 4420 for child care provisions and exceptions.

For guidance on assistance planning refer to KEESM 4111, 4211 and 4220. For guidance on the treatment of financial support from the CWCBS provider refer to 6410 (1).

Communication with the social service case worker is an absolute necessity in every case. Social service staff are responsible for assisting EES staff in understanding what the circumstances are between the family and the CWCBS provider, as far as status of payments and licensing. If the family states they were not given a choice by the CWCBS provider , the EES case worker needs to convey this message to the social service worker for follow-up with the CWCBS provider.

In some situations when the relative has chosen to receive a TANF benefit, the child may become ineligible for this assistance due to child support collected from the birth-parents being equal to or greater than the TANF benefit. When the child is no longer eligible for TANF due to the child support collected, and the child is not eligible for benefits such as SSI, SSA for which the provider could become payee, the only one of the payment options left for the relative is financial support from the CWCBS provider. When this situation occurs, EES staff need to contact the Regional PPS Program Administrator or designee who will contact the CWCBS provider. PPS is requiring the CWCBS providers to negotiate a support plan with the relative. The support plan would also need to address child care since in this situation the loss of TANF would result in loss of the income budgeting exception listed in KEESM 4420 resulting in a family share, or at worst ineligibility for child care due to excess income.



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