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; San Francisco uses foster care rate. N/A outside of CA.||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.|
Child Care **
|No, once adoption is finalized. Adoptive parent can request childcare through their county network. In San Francisco through Childcare Eligibility List.||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.|
- All caregivers, relative or non-relative will fall under KinGap and not Non-related legal guardian status (ACL….) Criterion: Caregiver has relationship with child; child is Title IV E (federal) eligible.
- Permanent caregivers may be eligible for child care outside of Foster Child Care. San Francisco is one of only two counties in CA that has a separate childcare program post dismissal. Most caregivers in the state apply for childcare from the county with a letter regarding child welfare priority. Pending policies may impact these benefits. Protective Services Worker should contact Children’s Council directly to discuss specific case.
- Non-minor dependent adult adoption on or after 18th birthday. Adoptions worker as secondary responsible for completing Non-minor dependent adoption assessment and APA paperwork.
- Chafee Foster Care Independence Program application does not require household income when youth has been in foster care on or after their 13th birthday.
San Francisco Foster Care 5/16