DCF: Subsidized Guardianship

Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services

Subsidized Guardianship

What is the subsidized guardianship program?
This program is intended to provide a permanent plan for children in the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) who are placed by DCF with their licensed relative caregivers and who cannot return home due either to the death of a parent or the inability to provide a home within the foreseeable future. The child(ren) must have resided with their relative caretaker for at least 6 months. A thorough assessment of the child’s placement will be completed by DCF prior to recommending the transfer of guardianship to the relative. The subsidized guardianship program will then provide the relative caretaker with a monthly board and care payment equal to the prevailing foster care rate (minus any income the child has, such as social security) plus medical coverage in the state Medicaid HMO program. 

(Public Acts 97-272, Sec. 7 and 05-254-eff. 10-1-05), DCF Policy 41-50-2, P.1-14.  This program was authorized by the Connecticut legislature in September of 1998. This program recognizes the importance of financially supporting relative caretakers of children in DCF care who are willing to assume the legal guardianship of the children in their care.

What are the details of the program?
In Connecticut the subsidized guardianship program is initiated by a relative caretaker in conjunction with the local area office DCF social worker. Once the caretaker indicates an interest in the guardianship program, the DCF worker will assess the relative placement in terms of whether or not this is a viable permanent plan for the child and make a recommendation as to the advisability of transferring the guardianship to the relative caretaker. If transferring the guardianship is deemed to be in the best interest of the child, the social worker will then file a Motion to Revoke/Transfer Custody of the child/children with the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. The motion is then reviewed by a Judge who can authorize the transfer of guardianship to the proposed relative caregiver.

Once guardianship is granted, an application is made by the relative caregiver to the Department for a subsidy. A financial and medical subsidy may be authorized, based on the child’s financial needs. The case is closed at this point for DCF casework services but the financial and medical subsidy case only is then maintained and managed in DCF’s Central Office by the Subsidy Unit housed within the Office of Foster care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson St., Hartford, CT 06106.

Relative guardians also may be eligible for a one-time exceptional expense payment of no more than $500 per child for expenses incurred by the family in the transfer of custody process. There are no additional payments for daycare, clothing, or other services that may have been paid under foster care.

The child is eligible for the subsidized guardianship program until he/she reaches eighteen (18) years of age or twenty-one (21) years of age if the child is in continuous full-time attendance at a secondary school, technical school or college or is in a state-accredited job-training program.

Please note: A “relative” or “related" person means an adult who is related by blood, marriage, or adoption descended from a common ancestor not more than three generations removed (from the child).

The Department conducts an annual review of each guardianship subsidy to determine if the subsidy shall continue, be modified, or be terminated. Annually, a subsidized guardian must submit a sworn statement to the Department that the child is still living with the guardian and receiving financial support from the guardian. A subsidized guardian may request a subsidy hearing when he/she disagrees with the Department’s proposal to modify or terminate a guardianship subsidy.