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Comparing Permanency Options for Children

The following is a comparison of adoption, legal guardianship with a relative and legal guardianship with a non-relative, and extended foster care for children.

NOTE: Reunification of the child/youth and family is optimum if it serves the best interest of the child/youth.

Adoption Kin-GAP (Legal Guardianship by Relatives) Legal Guardianship by Non-Relatives* Extended Foster Care
Permanency Aspects Child is legally part of the family with emotional and relational permanency. Child has financial rights as part of inheritance and benefits. Adoptive Parent has made commitment. Child is under the care of the Legal Guardian w/o court supervision. Legal Guardian has assumed responsibility to make most decisions over child’s life, including the planning for child’s future. Child is under the care of the Legal Guardian w/o court supervision. Legal Guardian has assumed responsibility to make most decisions over the child’s life, including planning for child’s future. Any youth with a permanent plan of adoption or Legal Guardian/KinGap on or after their 16th birthday will be eligible for extended benefits if they meet criterion.

Youth may opt for extended Foster Care until 21 years.

Non-minor dependent may opt for adult adoption on or after their 18th birthday***

Base Rate Adoption Assistance Program, negotiated based on a child’s needs, no higher than foster care rate. Kin-GAP matches the state foster care rates. Non-related legal guardian based on county of residence. Foster Care / Adoption Assistance Program or KinGap benefits continue depending on plan.
Special Care Increments Based on what Special Care Increments child would have received if remained in foster care. Check with Eligibility Worker Matches Special Care Increments rate in last month of foster care, based on county of residence, rate locked in. Yes, based on county of residence. Yes, rate based on county of residence.
Clothing Allowance No. Yes or no, availability and rate based on county residence and reg. Yes or no, availability and rate based on county of residence and reg. Yes or no, availability and rate based on county of residence and reg.

Foster Care

Child Care **

No, once adoption is finalized. Adoptive parent can request childcare through their county network. Yes, at this time. Yes, at this time. N/A
Independent Living Skills Program Yes, if child was in foster care or Kin-Gap 16-18. Yes, if child was in foster care or Kin-GAP 16-18. Yes, if child was in foster care 16-18. Yes.
THP+ Supportive Housing Generally no, youth needs to have emancipated from foster care and be 18-24. Generally no, youth needs to have emancipated from foster care and be 18-24. Generally no, youth needs to have emancipated from foster care and be 18-24. Yes for youth under extended foster care.
Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Yes, if youth was in foster care age 16-18**** Yes, if youth was in foster care age 16-18. Yes, if youth was in foster care age 16-18. Yes.
Additional Services Yes, including Adoption Assistance Program social worker, referral and resources, Wraparound support services, residential treatment. Kinship Services through contracted agency; Wraparound support services may be available post KinGap; mental health Depends on county of residence; Ongoing basic case management depending on county; Wraparound support services; mental health Ongoing case management.