Relative Care, Foster Care and DCYF
Every year, thousands of New Hampshire families struggle with issues that bring them to the attention of the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Parents may lack the skills or resources they need to care for their children appropriately and to keep them safe from harm; they may be struggling with substance abuse, physical illness, or mental health issues; or they may be parenting the only way they know how. Other variables that may lead to child abuse or neglect can include the loss of employment, inappropriate relationships, lack of affordable housing and/or incarceration. Please see the Resource Guide for NH Relative Caregivers for in-depth information on caring for relatives in New Hampshire.
- Foster Care is one option when DCYF is involved and seeks to find a safe alternative home to provide for day-today care, nurturing, supervision, and parenting for a child.
- By law, the State of New Hampshire must make efforts to identify and notify all adult relatives of a child within 30 days of a child going into placement. If a family relative is not available or not appropriate, the child may be placed in a licensed foster home.
- When a grandparent or other relative is identified as an appropriate caretaker for a child in State custody, he or she can become licensed by DCYF to provide foster care for the child. While this is not a requirement, it is strongly recommended that they become a licensed relative foster home as they may receive additional financial assistance as well as additional support services.
- There are many benefits to being involved with DCYF. The child’s parents can get services to help them reunify with their children. Children can get services they need, such as counseling or health care. Relative caregivers may be eligible to receive services to help care for the child, such as transportation and respite care.
- To become a licensed foster home, relative providers must complete the basic application process required by all licensed foster parents.
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