There are many reasons why Kentucky children may require the care of someone other than their biological parents: death, incarceration, hospitalization, drug use, etc. Sometimes Social Services take custody of these children. As a result, they go into the state system, which often involves placing them with foster parents previously unknown to them. In other situations, a relative or family friend may assume care of these children, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
The advantages of someone with an established relationship with the child assuming responsibility for his or her welfare over placing the child in the care of strangers should be evident. However, the state of Kentucky currently does little to reward the generosity of these individuals and couples in terms of financial support. Foster parents licensed with the state receive $750 a month in state assistance for every child they take in. By contrast, most relative and fictive kin caregivers do not qualify for state assistance at all.