Formal Kinship Care
Formal kinship care refers to a living arrangement where a student is placed by a state agency in the home of a relative.
- Documentation from the agency making the placement must be provided.
- No affidavit or further verification is required.
Informal Kinship Care
Informal kinship care refers to a living arrangement in which a relative of a child, who is a Maryland resident and NOT in the care, custody or guardianship of the Department of Social Services (DSS), provides for the care and custody of the child due to a serious family hardship. The law defines a serious family hardship as:
- Death of a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Serious illness of a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Drug addiction of a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Incarceration of a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Abandonment by a parent or legal guardian of the child
- Assignment of a parent or legal guardian of the child to active military duty
The law applies to only a child and parent/guardian who were Maryland residents (resided in the state of Maryland for at least six months) PRIOR to going into informal kinship care.
The relative providing the informal kinship care must:
- be an adult related to the child by blood or marriage
- verify the informal kinship care relationship through a sworn affidavit (which can be obtained at any school or the Department of Student Services)
- provide supporting documentation including, when possible, the telephone number and address of anyone legally authorized to reveal information that can be used to verify the information in the affidavit
- provide accurate information about the child’s last address and school attended prior going into kinship care
The affidavit and supporting documentation may be filed at any time and must be filed annually; at least two weeks prior to the start of the school year