Child in Home of Relative

Overview

AS OF MARCH 31, 2010, THE CHILD IN THE HOME OF A RELATIVE (CIHR) PROGRAM STOPPED ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS.

Persons who applied for CIHR on or before March 31, 2010 were assessed and grandparented upon acceptance based on regulations existing as of that date and as authorized by the Child in the Home of a Relative Program Transition Regulation.  The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation continues to administer the CIHR program for these clients.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development expanded its out-of-care (not in foster care) options for families (and their relatives) when children are temporarily unable to live with their parents.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development offers many programs and services for families who voluntarily request assistance. For more information, see the Extended Family Program (EFP) on the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s website [see Additional Resources]. Alternatively, phone or visit the nearest Ministry of Children and Family Development office.
In Victoria, call 250 387-7027, elsewhere in B.C., call 1 877 387-7027.

Please Note:  The Ministry of Children and Family Development ‘s Extended Family Program is not a replacement for CIHR.  EFP offers enhanced supports for children and families with a focus on family reunification. 

There are supports for families other than CIHR and the Extended Family Program. Relatives looking after dependent children may be eligible for the Child Tax Benefit, B.C. Family Bonus, Universal Child Care Benefit or the Child Disability Benefit.

Parents, legal guardians and persons with legal custody of a child who require financial support may qualify for income assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation with the child as a dependent provided the family unit meets all eligibility criteria.

This ministry provides assistance to a CIHR on applications received on or before March 31, 2010 only if all of the following applied:

  • The child resides in the relative’s home
  • The child’s parent placed the child with the relative
  • The child’s parent does not reside with the relative
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development determines that there is no evidence of a level of risk to the child in the home that compromises the home as an appropriate place for the child

The parents are expected to contribute toward the cost of caring for the child.

The CIHR program is the responsibility of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and is available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation existing as of March 31, 2010, and as authorized by the Child in the Home of a Relative Program Transition Regulation, to clients who applied on or before that date. This ministry administers the CIHR program on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Policy

Effective: March 11, 2008

The following definitions apply only to the Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) Program:

Child – An unmarried person under 19 years of age who is not a person with disabilities.

Relative – In relation to a child, does not include the child’s parents.

A relative may include a person connected with the child by blood, marriage, or who has a significant cultural or traditional responsibility to the child.

Effective: October 1, 2012  

AS OF MARCH 31, 2010, THE CHILD IN THE HOME OF RELATIVE (CIHR) PROGRAM STOPPED ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS. 

Persons who applied for CIHR on or before March 31, 2010 were assessed and grandparented upon acceptance based on regulations existing as of that date and as authorized by the Child in the Home of a Relative Program Transition Regulation.  The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation continues to administer the CIHR program for these clients.

After March 31, 2010, any clients whose CIHR is discontinued may pursue assistance through community-based services, contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development for assistance under one of its programs, or apply for income assistance through this ministry with the child as a dependent.  (To qualify for income assistance, the family unit must meet all eligibility criteria.) 

A child may continue to be eligible for CIHR assistance only if all of the following apply:

  • the child resides with his or her relative
  • the child’s parent placed the child with the relative
  • the child’s parent does not reside with the relative
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development determines that there is no evidence of a level of risk to the child in the home that compromises the home as an appropriate place for the child [see Determining Risk]

CIHR is not available to relatives who have a kith and kin agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.  When CIHR clients sign an agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development under the Extended Family Program (or other agreements such as a Section 8, a Child’s Kin and Others or a Kith and Kin agreement), the Ministry of Children and Family Development will advise this ministry of  the agreement and CIHR assistance will be discontinued.   [See Procedures:  Notification by the Ministry of Children and Family Development of Extended Family Program or Other Agreements.]

A CIHR client is subject to all eligibility rules except the following:

  • income and asset testing [For more information, see Related Links – Income Treatment and Exemptions, Pursuing Income, or Assets and Exemptions.]
  • requirement to seek employment [For more information, see Related Links – No Employment Obligations.]

The parents are expected to contribute toward the cost of caring for the child.  There is no exemption on this income for caregivers who are on income assistance.  Both CPP and Child of a Disabled Contributor benefits paid to orphans are not considered parental contributions and therefore do not affect the CIHR payments.

The relative may apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, thereby automatically generating entitlement to BC Family Bonus and BC Earned Income Benefit.  These supplements are exempt as income and do not affect the CIHR payments.

Eligibility for Supplements

Recipients of CIHR assistance may be eligible for:

  • a school start-up supplement, if a child eligible for CIHR is attending school full-time [see Related Links – School Start-up Supplement];
  • additional health supplements if equivalent payment for the services is not available through the child’s parents. [see Related Links – Health Supplement Summary]
  • Recipients of CIHR assistance are not eligible for any of the following:
    • Christmas supplement [see Related Links – Christmas Supplement]
    • supplement for lost or stolen family bonus cheques [see Related Links – Replacement of Lost or Stolen Cheques]
    • supplement for a delayed or suspended family bonus [see Related Links – Family Bonus Supplement]

Effective: September 29, 2011 

To determine that there is no evidence of risk to the child in the home that compromises the home as an appropriate place for the child, the Ministry of Children and Family Development will conduct screening checks on behalf of this ministry on the following persons:
 

  • the relative, who has not been screened, and is receiving Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) Program assistance on behalf of the child
  • any other person age 18 years or older who lives in the relative’s home, either full-time or part-time

The screening checks will consist of:
 

  • a Prior Contact Check:  a review of any records of previous involvement that the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency may have had with the individual
  • a criminal record check conducted by the Ministry of Justice

Each person age 18 or over living in the relative’s home must provide written consent for the Ministry of Children and Family Development to conduct the screening checks.  If any person age 18 or over refuses consent, the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s After Hours Office may be contacted to determine next steps.

Screening Results

Based on the results of the checks, the Ministry of Children and Family Development will determine whether or not concerns exist. MCFD will advise the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation with one of two statements:
 

  • no evidence of risk; or
  • risk determination is not possible, the child is not residing with the CIHR care provider

If the Ministry of Children and Family Development informs this ministry that the screening checks show no evidence of risk, and the recipient meets the other eligibility criteria for CIHR assistance, the CIHR assistance will continue. 

If the Ministry of Children and Family Development determines that concerns exist within the household, the Ministry of Children and Family Development informs this ministry that “risk determination is not possible, the child is not residing with the CIHR care provider” the CIHR benefits will not continue for the relevant child.

If CIHR is discontinued, the person can request a reconsideration.  At reconsideration, this ministry will make a new CIHR eligibility decision based on the regulatory criteria for CIHR, including the results of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s screening.  As the Ministry of Children and Family Development determines whether or not there is evidence of risk to the child, this ministry will know only the results of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s screening, not the information that led to those results.  If the relative disputes or disagrees with the findings from the the Ministry of Children and Family Development screening, or wants more information about the screening results, the relative should be directed to contact the CIHR Screening Information Contact at the the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s After Hours Office [see Contacts].  By regulation, the decision to discontinue CIHR based on evidence of risk cannot be appealed to the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal. 

Relatives caring for a CIHR must record information about a change in the household composition on the HR0081 Monthly Report.  If another person age 18 or over moves into the home or a dependent child in the home turns 18, that person must consent to be screened by the Ministry of Children and Family Development for continued eligibility.  If any person age 18 or over refuses consent the Ministry of Children and Family Development After Hours Office must be contacted to determine next steps [see Contacts].

For procedures for requesting screening checks from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and recording the results of the screening checks, see Procedures.

Effective: April 1, 2010

When the relative providing care for a child in the home of a relative is an income assistance recipient, the consequences of failing to meet employment-related obligations do not apply to the relative when the child meets either of the following criteria:
 

  • has not reached three years of age
  • has a physical or mental condition that precludes the relative from leaving home for the purposes of employment

Effective: March 11, 2008

The following factors should be considered to determine whether a person 18 years or older is living in the relative’s home part-time:
 

  • Whether the person’s living arrangement is consistent with aspects of occupying the relative’s home as a place of residence
  • The frequency and duration the person is residing in the relative’s home
  • If during periods of residing in the relative’s home, the person is unsupervised with the child

Examples where the person may be considered living part-time in the relative’s home:
 

  • The person receives mail at the address of the home, indicates it as their place of contact, or contributes to duties associated with living in the home.
  • The person is attending school where commuting between two residences is necessary and is staying overnight at the relative’s home on a regular basis such as five nights per week for six months.
  • The person is employed where commuting between two residences is necessary and is staying overnight at the relative’s home on a regular basis such as two nights per week for an indefinite amount of time.

Examples where the person may not be considered living part-time in the relative’s home:
 

  • The person does not receive mail at the address of the home, does not indicate it as their place of contact, or does not contribute to duties associated with living in the home.
  • The person is staying overnight at the relative’s home on a temporary basis such as one night per month.
  • The person is visiting the relative’s home for a three week vacation.

As the purpose of the screening requirement is to ensure the child’s safety, if the factors suggest a person 18 years or older is living in the relative’s home part-time, that person should be included in the screening check.

Procedures

Effective: February 3, 2011 

AS OF MARCH 31, 2010, THE CHILD IN THE HOME OF RELATIVE (CIHR) PROGRAM STOPPED ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS. 

Persons who applied for CIHR on or before March 31, 2010 were assessed and grandparented upon acceptance based on regulations existing as of that date and as authorized by the Child in the Home of a Relative Program Transition Regulation.  Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation continues to administer the CIHR program for these clients. 

After March 31, 2010, any clients whose CIHR is discontinued may pursue assistance through community-based services, contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development for assistance under one of its programs, or apply for income assistance or disability assistance through this ministry with the child as a dependent.  (To qualify for income assistance or disability assistance, the family unit must meet all eligibility criteria.)

Effective: September 29, 2011

Eligibility reviews should be completed whenever there are changes in the household composition.  This includes when a child in the household turns 18 or another person age 18 or over moves into the Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) home either full-time or part-time.  Eligibility reviews may also be conducted at the discretion of the worker or the office.  [See the Eligibility Review for Income Assistance for Child in the Home of a Relative form under Forms and Letters.]  

When eligibility reviews are conducted for a CIHR client, the parental signature on the Eligibility Review for Income Assistance for Child in the Home of a Relative (HR3331) form is optional.  Parents should have provided the information collected by this form on the original application for CIHR.  Where this is not the case, parents may be required to complete the form, at the discretion of the worker or the office. 

Parents should be required to complete the Eligibility Review for Income Assistance for Child in the Home of a Relative (HR3331) form when there is any question as to whether the parent is living in the home in which the child is being cared for.   

Notification by the Ministry of Children and Family Development of EFP or Other Agreements

Eligibility for CIHR assistance ends when CIHR clients sign an agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development under the Extended Family Program (EFP) or other agreements such as a Section 8, a Child’s Kin and Others or Youth Agreement.  When this occurs, the Ministry of Children and Family Development will advise this ministry of the agreement and CIHR assistance will be discontinued.   The Ministry of Children and Family Development social worker will use the case number to determine the office number, and will then fax or e-mail notification to the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation ministry office noting the child’s name and case number, and the fact that they have signed an agreement for benefits. 

Upon receipt of confirmation that a CIHR client has signed an EFP or other agreement, scan and profile the email or fax, document the information, and follow the procedures for “CIHR Discontinued for Reason Other Than the Screening” below.

Effective: September 29, 2011

Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) Program caregivers are required to report changes in the child’s circumstances by completing the Monthly Report (HR0081) [see Forms and Letters] on behalf of the child.  If the HR0081 indicates that the household composition has changed, the ministry worker contacts the relative for more information.  Ministry worker may contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development After Hours Office to determine next steps if the relative fails to report changes in the household composition.

When a dependent child living in the CIHR home turns 18 or another person age 18 or over moves into the CIHR home and resides there either full-time or part-time, that person must consent to be screened as a condition of ongoing eligibility for CIHR assistance. 

When a CIHR is reviewed, check to ensure there is a completed CIHR Screening Consent (HR3184) form from each person 18 years of age or older who resides either full-time or part-time in the relative’s home. 

When a person 18 years of age or older joins a CIHR household, or when a review finds that a person 18 years of age or older in the household has not already been screened, complete the following steps:
 

  1. Provide the relative with a Screening Consent form (HR3184) for each person residing in the home who is age 18 or over who has not yet been screened and inform the relative that they must return the completed form(s) to this ministry in order to continue receiving CIHR assistance.
     
  2. Advise the relative to ensure the form is completed accurately and signed, and that two pieces of identification are required when dropping off the form.  Explain that if the consent form is not submitted, a hold may be placed on their next cheque.
     
  3. Signal the cheque until the screening consent form is received.  Note: Do not turn cheque production off when waiting for the consent form to be submitted and when the screening process is being conducted. Reversing the cheque production status on cases requires supervisory approval.  
     
  4. Check 2 pieces of identification of the person submitting the consent form to establish proof of identity.  At least one piece of identification must be photo ID.  Acceptable ID includes:

Primary Photo ID

Secondary ID

Driver’s Licence*

Birth Certificate

Passport

Provincial Health Card

Secure Certificate of Indian Status

Citizenship Papers

Original Citizenship Papers

 

Immigration Documents

 

Provincial Identification

 

Note: the preferred form of ID for a CPIC check is a driver’s licence.  The driver’s licence can be expired.
 

  1. Ensure the consent form has been filled out in full and signed.
     
  2. Record on the top right-hand corner of the consent form: 
  • ID numbers of the person who submitted the consent form;
  • All CIHR case number(s) of children living in the household. The child’s name should not be recorded on the form. 
  1. MAIL the Screening Consent form(s) as a package to the Ministry of Children and Family Development After Hours Office using house mail. [See Contacts.]
     
  2. If the cheque was signalled, the CIHR cheque may be released after ensuring the form is completed and signed, and the ID of the person who submitted the form has been verified.
     
  3. Add a note on the relevant CIHR case in ICM with the following information:
  • Confirmation that the form has been filled out in full and signed and name of the person being screened;
  • Confirmation that the ID of the person who submitted the form has been verified;
  • Date of when the form was placed in house mail to the Ministry of Children and Family Development After Hours Office.
  1. DO NOT retain a copy of the Screening Consent form(s).

  2. The Ministry of Children and Family Development staff email the results of the screening to the generic email address in the Global Address List (GAL) for the appropriate Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation office (e.g., ministry office 106 displays the email address as OFF106@gov.bc.ca).  Each office is responsible to designate staff to check this email account daily.  Scan the email results on to each case for a CIHR child in the home.

No Evidence of Risk

If the result of the screening shows no evidence of risk:
 

  • enter on MIS (CSC screen) that the screening is complete, “Outcome OK”; and
  • attach a scanned copy of the email result to the case in the system.

No longer eligible for assistance

If the Ministry of Children and Family Development notifies this ministry that “risk determination is not possible, the child is not residing with the CIHR care provider” the household is no longer eligible for CIHR assistance for the relevant child. If there is more than one CIHR child living in the same home, the discontinuance of CIHR assistance may apply to just the relevant child and not all CIHR children of the household.

An example of this kind of situation might be a household wherein a youth who is a CIHR recipient is involved in high-risk activities and moves out of the care provider’s home as a result of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s screening and involvement.  There are other CIHR recipients in the household who can continue to live in the home (because the youth no longer resides there) and the other CIHR recipients should continue receiving CIHR benefits.

 Complete the following:
 

  1. Review the Client List: Open CIHR Files with Same Caregiver report, from Report2Web, to see if there are other CIHR children living in the home. 
  2. Review the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s email result and identify the relevant child the ineligibility applies to and update the system for these files.
  3. From the CSC screen for the relevant CIHR files in the home, enter that the screening is complete, “Outcome Not OK.”
  4. Add a note on the case indicating that “risk determination is not possible, the child is not residing with the CIHR care provider” and attach a scanned copy of the email result.
  5. Turn cheque production off on the relevant CIHR files in the home.
  6. Inform the relative that CIHR assistance is being discontinued and provide a discontinuance of assistance letter (HR3211) for the CIHR child affected in the home. [See Forms and Letters]
  7. With the letter(s), include this ministry’s Reconsideration and Appeals brochure and the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s email result for the relative’s review. 
  8. If contacted by the relative for more information on the screening results, or if the relative disputes the screening findings, refer the relative to the the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s After Hours Office [see Contacts].
  9. After the 20 business day reconsideration period has elapsed, when closing CIHR cases as a result of security screening indicating that the household is no longer eligible for assistance, use close reason “CIHR-Screening not OK.”

CIHR Discontinued For Reason Other Than the Screening

If the CIHR assistance is discontinued based on any criteria other than the screening results, follow these steps:
 

  1. Inform the relative the assistance is being discontinued, indicating reason(s), and send the client the appropriate Denial Letter (HR3209) [see Forms and Letters].
  2. With the letter(s), include this ministry’s Reconsideration and Appeals brochure.
  3. If contacted by the relative for information regarding the discontinuation, provide the relative the reasons for the discontinuation.
  4. After the 20 business day reconsideration period has elapsed, close the case on the system.

If the CIHR moves to the home of a new relative, this would be considered a new application for CIHR.  The program stopped accepting new applications as of March 31, 2010, so no further CIHR assistance would be available in this case.  Clients whose CIHR is discontinued for this or any other reason may choose to contact MCFD for assistance under the Extended Family Program or other programs, or apply for income assistance through this ministry with the child as a dependant.

Reconsideration

CIHR cases discontinued, including those based on evidence of risk, can be reconsidered. [Note that while denials due to a level of risk to the child can be reconsidered as per Policy, they may not be appealed – see section 81(1) and (3) in the BC Employment and Assistance Excerpt of Regulations under Additional Resources.]  At reconsideration, this ministry will make a new CIHR eligibility decision based on the eligibility criteria for CIHR, including the results of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s screening.

If the reconsideration decision is in the ministry’s favour, the client must be advised that this ministry has no authority to change the results of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s screening and that they must contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development directly for information on the screening results.

If the reconsideration decision is in the client’s favour, this ministry will reinstate the CIHR file under the same program eligibility rules as existed prior to the decision to discontinue.

Duty to Report

If there are child protection concerns at any point after CIHR assistance has been approved, immediately refer the case to a Social Worker (SW) at the Ministry of Children and Family Development.  [For more information, see Related Links – Protection of Children.]  Assistance may be issued pending the SW’s review providing the screening is complete and approved.

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