What is Kinship Legal Guardianship?

what is klg?

Many prospective guardians may want to consider earning caregiver status for a child as a Kinship Legal Guardian. Here are the questions that the embrella staff receives most frequently regarding Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG), including what is KLG?

What is KLG?

Kinship Legal Guardianship, or KLG, is a court-ordered plan for placing a child permanently in the care of a someone with close ties to his/her biological family when the child’s birth parents are unable to provide proper care. KLG status can be granted to relatives, family friends, teachers or an unrelated resource family in which the child has been placed for at least one year. The kinship legal guardian has similar rights and responsibilities as the child’s birth parent, including making decisions about the child’s care, consenting to medical treatment, making plans for the child’s education, applying for services for the child and general responsibility for ensuring the child’s safety and well-being. When KLG status is granted to an individual, birth parents no longer have legal custody of the child, however, their parental rights are not terminated. This means biological parents have the right to visit the child (as determined by court) and the obligation to pay child support.

Am I eligible for KLG?

Eligible caregivers must be tied to the child biologically or emotionally and be committed to raising the child until they are 18 years old. According to the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P), KLG caregivers must meet requirements that screen for age, income and family size. If the prospective KLG caregiver is a resource parent, the child must have lived in the resource home for the last 12 months. CP&P has two other requirements: 1) reasonable efforts have been made but failed to reunify the child with his or her birth parents, and 2) adoption of the child is not feasible or likely.

What services are available to KLG families?

Families may also contact their local county welfare agency to see if they qualify for state services and programs. There is additional assistance available through resources like the New Jersey Guardianship Resource Clearing House (aka KinKonnect). You can learn more about KinKonnect by visiting www.kinkonnect.org or by calling 877.KLG.LINE (877.554.5463). If the CP&P case is closed, you may be eligible for Kinship Navigator Program services.

If I am granted KLG status, do the child’s biological parents remain involved?

Biological parents maintain the right to visit their child as determined by the court, to pay child support and to consent to adoption or a name change. They can also petition the court to seek to vacate a KLG. If I am granted KLG status, do I receive a stipend or board rate? Many KLG cases are eligible for participation in the CP&P KLG Subsidy Program. The rate paid in subsidy is mutually agreed upon based on the level of care the child needs. This is finalized by the KLG provider and CP&P before the court grants KLG. KLG providers continue to receive board rates until the child turns 18 years old or until the child graduates high school.

How do I dissolve my KLG status?

A KLG caregiver or birth parent may request that a KLG court order be vacated, however, KLG status can only be dissolved in court by a judge or when the child turns 18. embrella recommends that anyone looking to dissolve KLG should contact their local family court.

Author: Lloyd Nelson, FAFS Digital Media Manager

Lloyd Nelson is the Digital Media Manager of Foster and Adoptive Family Services. He can be reached at lnelson@fafsonline.org.

2 thoughts on “What is Kinship Legal Guardianship?

  1. I am a biological parent let me tell you this wasnt a decided upon decisions as far as guardianship and now this kinship guardianship blows my mind. She’s n out even legally able to do what’s she’s done. My family has disowned mem she’s Master manipulated this while thing to her advantage and I never saw it coming. She was a parent role in my life and she just ripped that happiness and hope right out from under me. I am now on the streets and look and sometimes feel crazy. I am so disconnected and this is how she’s felt of me and my mother but waited through my pregnancies to sneakily do this courtship Legalitys so she won’t have to suffer in a affordable unit for herself. I am so resentful. Spent all last year’s holidays in jail walked to the store the last time I was arrested and did 2.5months for walk to t he store and bought my daughter and her brother icetickles. My heart is broken I am so fragile. Last night I slept in a b.r I been getting robbed. I don’t believe in taking especially family to court. This isn’t real. Someone suggestions of therapy for families reunification with my three children. Please. I’m so sad and want to die some days more than not. This is terrible!!

  2. I have a question; I am from North Carolina… My husband and I are kinship guardian over his sister youngest child… her first child was supervised by their mother in another county until we went to court and their mother got custody.. their mother health issues that she was in and out of the hospital that the father of the child father went and got permanent custody… almost 9 years later; my husband sister became pregnant and has another child… I moved my husband mother back into my house because of her health issues and knowing her daughter wasn’t going to make sure she gets to and from her dialysis… while we were on vacation; she moved her daughter into our home; and we have told his mother several times that her daughter couldn’t move in here… when we returned home from vacation; we get a knock on our door from CPS that is here visiting with my husband sister because she found a possum in her trailer and called animal control… when the animal control flipped a chair up; a bunch of syringes fell out of the chair and she claims that they are her mothers which her mother hasn’t been staying there in 2 months… his sister wanted us to lie for her and tell the CPS worker that she lives here with her 10 month old son… I refuse to lie for her… a week later; her caseworker showed up at my house to her child crying and to his sister sleeping on my couch… right then the case worker told her that she had to be supervise and if she got her mess together than she will come in and revoke the supervision…
    Well to be told; she never done anything that the CPS worker wanted her to do… I had put my life and my family life on hold for her; so she could come see her son everyday.. I done this for nine weeks..
    Than it gets moved to foster care almost 3 weeks ago… she is furious when she finds out that she can only see her child for one hour a week at DSS… not a week go by; she messaged me at 12:03am saying the baby starts pre-head-start at 8am… so I reached out to her case worker and send him the message that she sends me… come to find out she is the one that enrolled him into the program after her case has been switched over to foster care and the CPSFCW saying that he has to attend pre head start that it doesn’t matter who enrolls him… thought that it was up to the FCParent to make that call if we wanted to enroll him into the program and since I’m home all day; they still making me put him in the program after his mother went and enroll him… what options do I have on this matter??

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