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Kinship Services

Athens County Children Services has always been committed to children remaining with family members whenever possible when they cannot stay with their parents.

What is kinship care? Read further for a brief overview.

  • Kinship care is the most desirable placement option for children who cannot live with their parents. Athens County Children Services strives to ensure that children are placed with kin whenever possible. Kinship placements are important to the agency and to children because they allow the children stability and can create a unique sense of belonging by preserving families when parents are not able to do so.
  • Kin can be a blood relative or a non-relative who has a relationship with the family or the child. Kinship arrangements are established in a number of different ways. Sometimes kinship arrangements may happen informally. For example, you may be raising your grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin. There may have been no paperwork involved, and the child’s parent’s may be ok with the arrangement. This is one example of informal kinship care.
  • Kinship care can also happen as a formal arrangement, meaning that there may have been a legal custody arrangement, guardianship, or kinship adoption.

No matter how the arrangement was made, kin are making a courageous and life-changing commitment to the children in their care.

  • In Ohio, there are 86,000 children who rely on their grandparents to meet their basic needs.
  • The number of children in a kinship arrangement is steadily on the rise due to the difficulties faced by biological parents from drug abuse to poverty.
  • Kinship placements tend to be more enduring over time due to blood ties than any other placement option.

Athens County Children Services is here to preserve families and assist kinship placements, formal or informal.

I have legal custody of my relative. Can I receive support through Athens County Children Services?

Yes, you can receive support through Athens County Children Services without having an open case. The kinship case worker can assist you with getting linked to other services that may be of help to you.

What kinds of services are available to families seeking kinship support through ACCS?

The kinship case worker can help you navigate a number of different services. If you are not receiving benefits from the Department of Job and Family Services, the kinship case worker at Athens County Children Services can help you to get these services in place. We can also help you navigate other services such as mental health, linkage to childcare, etc.

If I decide to work with Athens County Children Services, is my information confidential?

Yes. The kinship case worker must get releases of information in order to talk to other service providers. For example, if you need help navigating Job and Family Services, the case worker would have you sign a release allowing the case work to talk to Job and Family Services on your behalf. These releases can be revoked by you at any time. Your involvement with ACCS is completely voluntary.

Are there any monetary supports available to me to help with the costs of raising my relative?

You may be eligible for Ohio’s Kinship Permanency Incentive Program. Click the links below to view the KPIP brochure and application.

KPIP Brochure


If you think that you may be eligible or have questions about this program, please call the kinship case worker. Athens County Children Services is responsible for the administration of this program, so you will need to call ACCS to receive these benefits. This process requires the case worker to come to your home and visit with you, as well as gathering the necessary documentation for the program.

What if I don’t have custody of my relative, but I feel that I need to establish that?

You and your family can make an arrangement that best benefits the children involved without the intervention of Athens County Children Services. If you need help doing this or have questions, please call the Athens County Juvenile Court for assistance in doing this.

For further questions about legal services and possible legal assistance, please visit the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services web page at: