Legal information for kinship caregivers

When a child cannot live with his or her parents, kinship caregivers often take over the full-time responsibility of caring for that child, providing ongoing stability, support and guidance. Learn about related legal issues, court processes and benefits available for kinship caregivers in Ohio. 

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Understanding the Basics

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If you're caring for a child while their parents cannot, you may be considered a "kinship caregiver." In Ohio, the definition of a kinship caregiver goes beyond the scope of relatives and may include an adult who has a relationship with the child or the family.

Ohio Legal Help offers an interactive interview to help kinship caregivers understand the different legal rights, court processes and benefits that are available to kinship caregivers. 

Answer a few simple questions to get a summary of basic information, with links to more detailed information and forms, to help you understand your options and the supportive services available. 

You can also read the articles below to find detailed information and forms that may be helpful for kinship caregivers in Ohio. 

Court processes for kinship caregivers

  • Non-parent custody. Learn how to file for non-parent custody in Ohio and get the forms.
  • Abuse, neglect and dependency cases. Learn how kinship caregivers and other adults can be involved and supportive in abuse, neglect and dependency cases with Childrens Services.

Benefits for kinship caregivers

  • Kinship Permanency Incentive Program. Learn about the Kinship Permanency Incentive (KPI) Program and Ohio Works First for kinship caregivers who have legal custody of the child in their care.
  • Kinship Support Program. Learn about the Kinship Support Program and becoming a kinship foster parent for caregivers who have a child placed in their home who are in the legal custody of Childrens Services.

For grandparents

  • Special forms for grandparents. In Ohio, special forms allow grandparents caring for their grandchildren to make some basic decisions like enrolling the child in school or accessing medical care. 


OhioKAN provides one-on-one support to kinship and adoptive families in Ohio. They work to help you get access to all of the resources available to you statewide. 

You can connect with them by calling 1-844-644-6526.

Local Government and Community Resources

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