Indiana DCS Announces Enhanced Financial Assistance for Adoption and Guardianship

Written from press release

INDIANAPOLIS, June 19, 2024 – Starting July 1, families in Indiana who adopt or take legal guardianship of children from the foster care system will receive financial assistance equivalent to 100 percent of what the child received while in foster care, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) announced today.

The enhanced financial supports are part of the Indiana Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) and Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP), which aim to ensure that families can meet the needs of children in their care. This adjustment will streamline the process by removing the need for most financial negotiations, thus expediting the placement of children into permanent homes.

Previously, families received at least 50 percent of the amount the child was entitled to while in foster care, with the possibility of negotiating higher amounts based on individual circumstances. The new policy guarantees full financial support, better positioning caretakers to provide for the needs of Hoosier children.

DCS Director Eric Miller highlighted the impact of the change, noting that nearly 2,000 Indiana children find permanent homes through adoption and over 1,000 through guardianship each year.

“We often hear from families who are interested in adoption or guardianship, but they worry they might not be able to afford the additional costs that are necessary to meet a child’s needs,” Miller said. “By making assistance more readily available, we are creating more opportunities for Hoosier children to find their forever home and better supporting the families who make that happen.”  

This initiative is part of DCS’s ongoing efforts to remove barriers to permanency for Indiana children. Last July, with the approval of the Indiana General Assembly, DCS introduced a kinship stipend program to support unlicensed kinship caregivers, who include relatives, godparents, stepparents, or others with a close personal connection to the child. More than half of Indiana children in foster care are placed in kinship care. As of the end of May, DCS has distributed over $10.1 million in stipends, benefiting more than 4,000 children in these placements.

For more information on the Indiana Adoption Assistance Program, visit Indiana Adoption Program. Details about the Guardianship Assistance Program and kinship care support can also be found online.

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