Beginning July 1, families who provide a home through adoption or eligible guardianships to a child in Indiana’s foster care system will receive financial supports equal to 100 percent of the amount the child received while in foster care.

The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) provides these subsidies through its Indiana Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) and Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP). Financial supports help ensure caretakers who adopt or take guardianship of children in DCS care are best positioned to meet the needs of those children. Finding the right, safe and permanent home in a timely manner is a top priority for DCS, and these supports play vital roles in accomplishing that.  

Currently, families receive at least 50 percent of the amount the child was entitled to while in foster care and may negotiate higher amounts based on the individual circumstances of the child and family. With the change to 100 percent, caretakers across the state will be equipped more than ever to provide for the needs of Hoosier children. This step will also eliminate the need for most financial negotiations and help remove a barrier that can delay permanency for children.

DCS Director Eric Miller, MPA, MBA, noted that nearly 2,000 Indiana children find permanent homes through adoption and more than 1,000 others find permanency through guardianship each year.

“We often hear from families who are interested in adoption or guardianship, but they worry they might not be able to afford the additional costs that are necessary to meet a child’s needs,” Miller said. “By making assistance more readily available, we are creating more opportunities for Hoosier children to find their forever home and better supporting the families who make that happen.”  

This change is the latest move by DCS to remove barriers to permanency for Indiana children. In July 2023, with approval from the Indiana General Assembly, DCS implemented a kinship stipend program to support unlicensed kinship caregivers. These individuals can be a relative, godparent, stepparent or another person with whom the child has a close personal connection. More than half of all Indiana children in foster care are currently placed in kinship care. As of the end of May, DCS has issued more than $10.1 million in stipends, benefiting more than 4,000 children in unlicensed kinship placements.

Information on the Indiana Adoption Assistance Program can be found here. Details about the Guardianship Assistance Program are available here. To learn more about Indiana’s adoption program, visit https://www.indianaadoptionprogram.org/.

More information about kinship care and the support available can be found here.