Update: Undocumented Foster Children

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Per DECAL, in order to be eligible to receive CAPS, a child must be a U.S. citizen, or have established U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) status as a lawfully admitted qualified alien. This can be found in CAPS policy, section 6.5 under Eligibility Requirements by clicking here. This policy is based on federal requirements that prohibit Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) monies from being expended for the care of children that don’t meet these citizenship requirements.

Last week, GCCA sent an alert advising providers that if they accept undocumented children, they do so at their own risk. Several GCCA members sent emails asking what the definition of an undocumented child is because so many foster children are being placed in care without valid certificates. This is to clarify the previous alert.

It has come to GCCA’s attention that some DFCS case workers have been placing undocumented immigrant foster children in providers’ care with the promise the provider will be reimbursed by CAPS. This is NOT TRUE, and you take these children at your own risk of non payment. But there is a solution.

DFCS has emergency child care funds they can use to compensate providers in this situation. If you are in this position, write a letter to the DFCS County Director with responsibility for the children (this may be different than county in which you are located) detailing the events and circumstances that occurred that resulted in caring for these children, that the children are not eligible to receive CAPS despite being told otherwise, and requesting that the costs be reimbursed by DFCS.

If you have had foster children placed in your care by DFCS who are US citizens (or who have been admitted as a lawfully qualified alien) but who have yet to receive a valid certificate, you can contact DECAL for assistance with your certificate at caps.support@decal.ga.gov.

If you are a GCCA member and would like assistance with your outstanding certificates, click here.
GCCA Membership has its benefits – when you’re struggling with CAPS issues at your center, we can be your advocate. To become a GCCA member, click here.