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Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Permanency > Guardianship Assistance Program Guardianship Assistance Program

Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP)
The Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) is a IV-E funded program. This program is meant to help families where reunification and adoption have been ruled out and Guardianship has been determined to be the best permanency option for a child or sibling group.

The Child must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Be a ward of DCS or Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Status (JDJS) and meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Child is age 13 or older*;
  2. Child has been placed in a licensed relative home for at least 6 consecutive months;
  3. Child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective relative guardian; and
  4. Court finds and states in an order compelling reasons for guardianship being the preferred permanency option.

    *Child is a member of a sibling group where at least one of the youths is 13 years of age or older and meets eligibility requirements 2 through 4 above.

The Relative Caregiver must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a licensed foster parent;
  2. Be primarily responsible for providing appropriate care, support, maintenance, education and welfare of the child;
  3. All members of the household over age 14 must be checked through the Sexual Offender Registry and CPS; and,
  4. All members of the household over 18 will additionally be required to pass the Fingerprint-based national criminal history check.

Note: Families who applied for the TANF funded Assisted Guardianship Program prior to July 1, 2012 and were determined eligible will continue receiving assistance from that program until the child has aged out of eligibility.

    For more information on the Guardianship Assistance Program, contact your local DCS Office.