Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Living in the Home With a Relative




Table of Contents


To be eligible to receive Families First benefits, a child must live in a place of residence maintained by a specified relative as his or her home and the home of the child. For Families First purposes, legal custody is not pertinent to the determination of eligibility and relationship. Where the child actually lives and who has care and control of the child are the determining factors.


A relative is considered to have care and control of child when he/she has the major responsibility for parental obligations of day-to-day care, support, supervision and guidance for the child. These responsibilities may be carried out either alone or with another person living in the home.


When the child lives with the relative, it is presumed that the relative has care and control of the child. However, there are certain situations when this may be questionable and the caseworker must determine who has care and control of the child.


The following are examples of instances when care and control must be established:


        Joint custody cases.


        When the relative and the child live in different dwellings.


        When temporary absence is claimed.


        When a relative who is not the parent receives Families First benefits for the child and a parent returns to the home.


The decision as to if the relative has care and control of a child is made on a case by case basis. The caseworker/supervisor must evaluate the facts in each particular situation and use their best judgment. If the facts establish that the relative has care and control, then the child is considered to be living with that relative. See Procedures in this section for a guide in determining care and control.




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