Clarification from DCYF on CARES Grants

Clarification from DCYF on CARES Grants

DCYF has received several questions regarding the CARES Act Grant, and put together a list of frequently asked questions to provide additional clarity:

Does everyone get this grant?

This one-time grant will be issued to licensed and unlicensed caregivers, based on the number of children – five years and older – DCYF had placed in their care during November 2020. Additionally, children must have been in your care for at least five days that month.   

Child Placement Agency (CPA) foster parents will receive this reimbursement directly from DCYF.

How are we able to apply for this? 

You do not need to apply. The payments are being generated based on the number of children placed in your care by DCYF, for at least five days during November 2020, as reflected in our case management data system, FamLink.

How are these grants distributed?

The grant will be deposited by direct deposit (EFT) if you are set up for that. Otherwise, a check will be mailed. If you are set up for direct deposit, the money will arrive in your account two to three business days after payments are issued. If you receive paper checks, it can take 7 to 10 business days for mail delivery.

I had a child in my care from January 2020 to September 2020. Do I still qualify to receive the one-time payment?

This grant criteria is based on the number of children in your care during November 2020. Unfortunately, based on the information, you do not qualify for this grant.

I had a foster youth for the entire year of 2020, but just in the last week, she has been in respite. Will I still be getting the Caregiver Grant for her?

This grant criteria is based on the number of kids in your care during November 2020. It sounds like the foster youth was in your care for November, and so you should receive a grant payment.

So even though we paid extra expenses for a child from March to September we won’t receive the grant?

Unfortunately, we are unable to compensate folks retroactively for costs that have already happened. We are providing these grants in an attempt to offset future costs. We worked as quickly as possible to get grants out the door once we were approved to do so.  We recognize these won’t be perfect or fully reimburse for all costs incurred for all placements.

Will this apply to children we recently adopted?

If the child you adopted was placed with you as a foster child during November 2020 for at least five days, yes. If you had adopted your child before November 2020, you do not qualify for the grant.

If you have other questions, email [email protected].

edit, 1/13/2021: DCYF sent out an additional clarification highlighting the restriction to children aged 5 and older, and apologizing for not being more clear initially

We acknowledge that our initial COVID-19 grant funding message inaccurately stated that you would receive a grant for “every child in your care.” That was an error on our part and we apologize for the frustration, stress, and inconvenience it may have caused.

The funding was designated for school-age children, 5 years and older, and that should have been communicated at the beginning. Additional communication has been sent out that includes frequently asked questions about the grant.

We realize that the criteria for the funding does not include all caregiving situations. This does not take away from all of the work you have done during the pandemic to support children placed in your home care – along with the hardships the pandemic has caused.

DCYF was given a small amount of funding to support some caregivers for potential costs associated with distance learning for school-age children. We certainly understand that all caregivers have experienced stress and increased costs related to COVID. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to expand it to children under age 5 at this time. If additional resources from the state or federal government become available with a broader focus, we will work to distribute those at that time.

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