T.M. v. DeWine

The State of Ohio denied kinship foster families the Foster Care Maintenance Payments that are available to licensed foster caregivers.

Juvenile Law Center joined Children’s Defense Fund and nine other advocacy organizations in filing an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, arguing that Ohio’s policy undermines Congress’s intent to keep children with their families and disregards the advantages of kinship care. The brief further argued that Ohio’s policy disproportionately harms Black and Brown children, as they are overrepresented in the kinship foster care system, and makes already-poor families poorer, as kinship caregivers are typically poorer than licensed non-relative foster parents.

The Sixth Circuit held that Ohio kinship foster families are ineligible for federal Foster Care Maintenance Payments because they are not held to the same certification standards as licensed foster caregivers.