The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

Parent hugging a child on the steps of building

The Kin-GAP program is a permanency option for children in long-term placement with relatives, which provides a monthly payment to the relative guardian. This program is intended to enhance family preservation and stability by providing relatives with an alternative route to permanency when reunification and adoption are not appropriate permanency options. The transition from foster care or wardship to Kin-GAP is not automatic. Once the requirements are met, the social worker will complete the paperwork for enrollment into the program.


All of the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for the Kin-GAP program:

  • The child is a dependent or ward of the juvenile court.
  • The child has been placed in the approved home of the prospective relative guardian for at least six consecutive months while under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, probation department, Title IV-E agreement tribal agency or a voluntary placement agreement.
  • The relative guardian has entered into a written binding agreement with the county welfare agency, probation department, or Title IV-E agreement tribal agency prior to the establishment of the guardianship.
  • The juvenile court has ordered legal guardianship and appointed a legal guardian.
  • Dependency or wardship is terminated.


Once enrolled in Kin-GAP, a youth may continue to receive Kin-GAP payments following their 18th birthday up to age 19 under the following circumstances:

  • The Kin-GAP payments began before the youth’s 16th birthday; and
  • The youth is attending high school, vocational or technical training school on a full-time basis or pursuing a high school equivalency certificate.

In order to qualify, the youth must continue to reside in the relative’s home and meet the above requirements. There must be a reasonable expectation that they will complete the education, training program, or high school equivalency certificate before their 19th birthday.


Youth who were at least age 16 before the Kin-GAP payments began may be eligible for extended Kin-GAP until the age of 21 if they meet one of the following five participation criteria:

  • The youth is completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential.
  • The youth is enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education.
  • The youth is participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment.
  • The youth is employed for at least 80 hours per month.
  • The youth is incapable of doing any of the activities listed above due to a medical condition.


If the youth is under 21 years of age and has a physical or mental disability that warrants the continuation of assistance, they would be able to continue receiving Kin-GAP benefits, until the age of 21, regardless of the age that the kin guardianship was ordered.

Resources and Information

For more information, please refer to the following All County Letters (ACLs):

To obtain in person or online assistance for Kinship Caregivers or Previous and Current Foster Youth, please visit: California Kinship Navigator.

For Additional Information:
Foster Caregiver Policy and Support Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-7465

Contact Us

Foster Caregiver Policy and Support Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-13-78
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-7465
Contact Your County