In April 2014, Kentucky’s General Assembly passed SB 176 – a kinship caregiver authorization law. This new law allows relative caregivers to complete a form, called an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, stating that they are the primary caregiver of the child. By presenting the form, they can authorize health care treatment, educational services, and school enrollment for children in their care.
Prior to SB 176, caregivers had to have the biological parents or legal custodians sign a Power of Attorney form to get the authority they needed. However, we know this can be a substantial barrier for families when the parents are unavailable or hard to locate. To remove this barrier, SB 176 says that if caregivers are unable to locate the parent(s), they can simply describe their reasonable efforts to locate them in the affidavit rather than requiring a signature.
Since passage of SB 176, Kentucky Youth Advocates has been working with partners from AppalRed and the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky to create a model affidavit for kinship caregivers, and it is now available for dissemination and use.
The Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit serves as a template for caregivers without legal custody to get the authorization needed to address the educational and/or medical needs of the children they are caring for. The form was created in order to help relative caregivers easily create an affidavit on their own, without having to consult an attorney.