Relative & Non-Relative Caregivers

Answers for Relatives & Non-Relatives

We try very hard to place children with friends, relatives and loved ones whenever possible when a judge decides a child cannot stay safely in his or her own home. If you are a relative or non-relative caregiver who has stepped in to care for children removed from their parents' home – thank you! You are helping to make a traumatic experience less difficult. You may find it helpful to review the Families in Care section to get an idea of the process your family member or friend will work through before their children can be reunified with them. You may also find the Frequently Asked Questions section helpful in answering questions the children in your care may be asking.

We are here to help and support you in whatever way we can, and we apologize for any inconveniences you may experience along the way. It will be important for you to stay in regular contact with the Dependency Case Manager assigned to your case. They will help you navigate the system and ensure your voice is heard. You have a right to attend court hearings yourself as well.

Caregiver and Adoption Support Supervisor

Our Caregiver and Adoption Support Supervisor is also available to you and can help you navigate the system, get help, contact other staff or find resources for the children in your care. To learn more about this resource, or to contact the Caregiver and Adoption Support Supervisor, call (772) 528-0365.

Relative Caregiver Program

The Florida Department of Children and Families offers special financial assistance to relative caregivers who meet eligibility rules and have custody of a child under age 18 who is a court ordered dependent.

Only the child's income and assets are counted when determining eligibility and payment amounts. Payments are based on the child's age and any countable income.

Eligibility Rules

Some of the eligibility rules are:

  • Citizenship - Individuals must be US citizens or qualified non-citizens.
  • Residency - Individuals must live in the state of Florida.
  • SSN - Child must have a social security number or prove they have applied for one.
  • Assets - Child's countable assets must be equal to or less than $2000.
  • Relationship - Relative caregiver must be within the specified degree of relationship to the parent or stepparent of the child.
  • Income - Child's net countable income cannot exceed the payment standard for the child's age (see payment amounts above).
  • Child Support Cooperation - Relative caregiver must cooperate with child support enforcement to identify and locate the parents, to prove a child's legal relationship to their parent and to get the court order child support payments.
  • Immunizations - Children under age 5 must be current with immunizations.

Ask your case manager for an application or for more information, or visit

Assistance for Non-Relative Caregivers

Non-relative caregivers may be eligible for financial assistance - more information will be posted soon.