Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Kinship Care Portal

For information about other Department of Human Services resources and services available statewide:

The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) reaches out to grandparents raising grandchildren as well as other relatives in many different ways. We value and appreciate grandparents and other relatives raising grandchildren and understand that caring for a child may be challenging.

Grandparents, or other relatives, may apply for child support services at no cost, in a local DCSS office or by completing an Application for Services or through the DCSS online Customer Online Services. Referrals to DCSS may also be received through the Division of Aging Services or the Division of Family and Children Services.

Grandparents and other relatives may qualify for one or more of the following services for the children in their care and custody:

  • Locate - Locate services are provided to determine the whereabouts of either noncustodial parent, whether local or in cases where one parent resides out of the state or country.
  • Paternity establishment - Paternity establishment services are provided through no cost genetic testing so that a legal relationship can be established between the child and the child’s father. When necessary, genetic testing can be provided in the absence of the natural mother of the child(ren).
  • Order establishment - Child support orders are established to enhance the well-being of children by ensuring financial and medical support are available on a regular basis. Child support orders may be established upon application for services by the grandparent custodian, or other relatives.
  • Order enforcement - Enforcement services are provided when a parent does not pay child support as ordered so that support payments can be collected. Enforcement actions include, but are not limited to, contempt actions filed with the court, income deductions, withholding unemployment benefits, suspension or revocation of drivers’ license, filing liens against a property, seizing bank accounts, intercepting lottery winnings and federal and/or state tax refunds to pay towards child support arrears.
  • Redirection of child support payments - Redirection services are provided when there is an existing court order for child support so that support payments can be redirected from the custodial parent to the relative caring for the child. Payments in these situations will be redirected, upon receipt of an Application for Services or a referral from the Division of Aging, Services or the Division of Family and Children Services.
  • Child support collection and distribution - Collection and distribution services are provided so that child support payments are collected and distributed to the child’s caregiver in a timely manner. Child support arrears payments are also collected and distributed. Payments are collected through a centralized payment location, the Family Support Registry, and distributed to Debit Cards or through Direct Deposit into personal bank accounts.
  • Review of support order - You have the right to ask DCSS to review a child support order three years after the order becomes effective unless a substantial change in circumstances can be shown for orders less than three years old. For more information, please click “Request Review of Support Order” or contact any local office of the DCSS for more information,

Contact any local office of the DCSS. For a complete listing of offices, go to office locations.