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Kin-Specific Foster Home Licensure: Overview of New Federal Rule & Release of Recommended Standards

October 11, 2023

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View the webinar recording

FAQs from the webinar

Kin-Specific Foster Home Approval: Recommended Standards of National Organizations

Federal ACF Resources

ACF final rule

Information memorandum from ACF: Federal Rule on Separate Licensing Standards for Relative or Kinship Foster Family Homes

Policy guidance from ACF: Title IV-E Plan Amendment–Separate Licensing Standards for Relative or Kinship Foster Family Homes

Additional Resources

Network resource: Transforming Foster Care: What the September 2023 Rule Means

Network resource: New Federal Rule Supports Kinship Families in Foster Care

ABA Center on Children and the Law resource: New Rule to Provide Title IV-E Agencies the Opportunity to Streamline Foster Home Approval and Provide Equal Support for Kin

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a final rule that explicitly gives all Title IV-E child welfare agencies the option to use kin-specific foster care licensing standards and encourages them to limit those standards to federal safety requirements. The rule change will allow more children to be cared for by those they know and love and be financially supported like children with non-kin foster parents.

To learn more about the new rule, see the Network’s new resource.

Under the new rule, Title IV-E agencies that want to establish kin-specific licensing or approval standards have two, long-standing federal requirements:

  • Conduct criminal and child abuse background checks under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(20)
  • Align their kin-specific licensing or approval standards “reasonably in accord with recommended standards of national organizations…including standards related to admission policies, safety, sanitation, and protection of civil rights, and which shall permit use of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.”42 U.S.C. §671(a)(10)(A)   

To help agencies implement this federal rule by fulfilling the long-standing requirement to align with nationally recommended standards, draft kin-specific approval standards have been developed by a coalition of national nonprofit organizations: A Second Chance, Inc., American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Children’s Rights, CWPolicy, Generations United and its Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center, National Association for Regulatory Administration, New America’s Resource Family Working Group, National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Think of Us.

Join us as we unveil the first draft of these new model standards!

  • Learn what the new kin-specific approval standards include, and how they were developed
  • Hear from multiple leaders about the benefits they expect to see from Title IV-E agencies adopting these new standards
  • Learn where to start developing a kin-specific licensing process in your agency
  • Bring your questions for a live Q&A session