Department of Human Services
Families First Online Policy Manual
UNSTABLE ASSISTANCE UNITS
Frequently, a relative other than the parent of a child requests and receives Families First for that child.† The relative may be included in the AU if he/she meets requirements as caretaker.† From time to time the childís parent comes into the home but does not stay for long periods of time.† When this occurs, the caseworker must consider whether changes in the AU are needed.
There is good cause to have both a non-parental caretaker and a parent (2 adults) in the AU when it is determined that the parent is in and out of the home and the non-parental caretaker relative continues to maintain a home and assumes primary responsibility for the care and control of the child.
When a non-parental caretaker relative is receiving assistance for a child and the childís parent returns to the home, verify that both the non-parental caretaker and the parent are in the home.† To the extent possible, verify the plans of the parent to return or remain in the home.
Document in the eligibility and case management system the composition of the assistance unit and the parentís plans about remaining in the home.† A full explanation of the decision to include the parent in the non-parental caretakerís case or to close that case and open another case with the parent as caretaker is needed.
∑ Determine who is providing a home and who has primary responsibility for the care and control of the child.
- Determine the pattern of the parentís absence(s) from and return(s) to the home.
- Determine whether this particular return is likely to be relatively permanent (3 to 6 months).
∑ If it is determined that the parent has returned to assume parental rights/responsibilities and is requesting continued Families First for herself and her child(ren):
- Close the caretaker relativeís case.
- Open a new case in the parentís name and determine eligibility and develop a Personal Responsibility Plan.
∑ If it is determined that the parent is likely to leave again:
- Continue the case in the grantee relativeís name.
- Add the parent to the existing AU as a 2nd adult if otherwise eligible to be added.
- Include any income/resources the parent has in the AUís eligibility determination.
- Complete a Personal Responsibility Plan for the parent, including a work activity, unless exempt.
- Set an expected change prior to the next renewal to determine whether changes have occurred which affect on-going eligibility.
∑ A child support referral must be made during any absence of the parent.