Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Living in the Home With a Relative




Table of Contents


The following questions are guides to consider when determining if a relative has care and control of a child.  The child’s age and degree of independence are also factors in making this decision.


·        Who has and exercises responsibility for daily physical maintenance of the child such as purchasing/preparing food, purchasing/maintaining clothing, providing a place to sleep and basic shelter, and overseeing daily health maintenance activities?


·        Who has and exercise responsibility for securing medical/dental care for the child?


·        Who has and exercises responsibility for consenting to major medical treatment procedures for the child?


·        Who receives and expends monies for the child?


·        How many weeks in a month does the child stay in the relative’s home?  How many weeks in a month does the child stay away from the relative’s home?


·        What address is shown for a school age child on the school records?


·        If a child is in day care, who takes the child to and picks the child up from the facility?  Who does the daycare facility consider the responsible relative?


·        Is the child included on the lease in public housing or does the landlord/rental agent know of his/her presence in the dwelling?


·        Do other records indicate where the child lives?


When joint custody has been granted, the caseworker must:


·        Obtain a copy of the order or custody order, if possible.


·        Determine if the order is being followed.


·        Determine if both parents are functioning as parents.


·        Determine where the child spends the majority of the time.


·        If the child is of school age, obtain from the school records the child’s address and the name and address of the person to be notified in emergencies.


·        Determine if the child receives food stamps in the household in which he/she is included.


·        Ask neighbors, friends, relatives, etc. with whom they consider the child to be living.


·        Determine who exercises care and control of the child.


The caseworker /supervisor will make their decision about where the child is living based on the information obtained through the sources listed above.


When determining temporary absence, the caseworker must establish:


·        The name and location of the school, camp, maternity home or hospital where the person is.


·        The name and address of the friend or relative the person is visiting.


·        The date the individual left the home and the expected date of his/her return.


·        The reason for the absence and the person responsible for the plans for the person to return to the home.


·        The responsibility that the relative has for the child while either of them is away from the home, such as financial responsibility and decision making regarding the child’s care.


·        Specific arrangements for the individual’s return to the home.


The caseworker will use this information to decide whether temporary absence exists or whether the person actually lives elsewhere.  If temporary absence exists, an alert must be set to review the case when the individual is expected to return to the home.




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