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Kinship & Family Respite Fund

Court-appointed guardians may be eligible to receive money from the Probate Courts through the Kinship Fund and Family Respite Fund programs. The guidelines for each fund are as follows: 

The Kinship Fund makes grants to guardians in the amount of $550 per child per year, up to a maximum $2,200 per family. Grants must be used for the child or children for:

  • Health (eyeglasses, dental care, hearing improvement treatment);
  • Enrichment (school field trips, clubs, or sports fees, purchase of sports equipment, educational classes or tutoring, purchase of art supplies, materials for creative tasks, books);
  • Development (clothing for social functions that mark developmental milestones, photographs or other memorabilia); and
  • Basic needs (school clothes and supplies, coats, hats, mittens, boots, sneakers or closely related items)

The Respite Fund makes grants up to $2,200 per year to guardians for respite. Guardians may use respite grants for the following purposes for children under their care:

  • Housing (rent, mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance, insurance);
  • Food (groceries, school meals, restaurants);
  • Transportation (public transportation and car purchase and financing costs, insurance, gasoline, maintenance);
  • Clothing and personal care items;
  • Education (tuition, books, supplies, uniforms, lessons, driver education classes);
  • Child care (day care tuition, baby-sitting, summer camp, vacations, entertainment, recreational equipment, reading material); and
  • Spending allowances

To be eligible for a Kinship or Family Respite Fund Grant, a guardian must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Is serving as a guardian for a minor child as the result of an appointment by the Probate Court or Superior Court Juvenile Matters;
  • Qualifies at the time of the grant application for a Probate Court fee waiver or is determined by a probate judge to be in need;
  • Is not receiving benefits or subsidies from DCF; and
  • Has submitted a grant application together with all required documentation

Grant amounts are determined by a probate judge and may vary depending upon available funding. A guardian may apply for grants in multiple years, provided that all eligibility requirements continue to be met. Applications are available at the clerk’s office of the Probate Court or by clicking on the link below. Please note: A fee waiver and decree appointing the applicant as guardian for the child must be submitted with the grant application.

Kinship and Respite Fund Application.pdfKinship and Respite Fund Application

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