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Kinship Care Student Registration

Informal kinship care is a living arrangement caused by serious family hardship in which a relative of a child, who is not in the care, custody, or guardianship of the local department of social services, provides for the care and custody of the child (MD Education Article §7-101; COMAR 13A.08.05.01 (8)(2)). The informal kinship care giver must be a “relative” of the child, meaning an adult related to the child by blood or marriage. Any questions, please contact Garcia Dixon, Supervising Pupil Personnel Worker, at or 301-934-7333.

Eligible Hardship Situations and the Enrollment Process

If the child does not meet the definitions for homelessness, informal kinship care should be the next option. Informal kinship care allows non-parent relatives to enroll a child if the child is living with them due to a serious family hardship.

Many caretakers who have had difficulty enrolling children will fall into this category. Laws concerning documentation of the hardships have changed to make it easier for non-parents to enroll children under this process.

Eligible Hardships

  • Death of a parent or guardian
  • Serious illness of a parent or guardian
  • Drug addiction of a parent or guardian
  • Incarceration of a parent or guardian
  • Abandonment by a parent or guardian
  • Assignment of a parent or guardian to active duty military service

Enrollment Process

To enroll a child in school you need TWO things: an affidavit and documentation of the hardship that led to the need for informal kinship care. Under the recently passed law, schools are required to enroll a child in kinship care immediately, even if documentation of the hardship is not available. Schools may request documentation of the hardship after the child is enrolled.