Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2A. Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program.


§ 4–251.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Criminal background check” means the investigation of an individual’s criminal history through the record systems of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Police Department.

(1A) “Godparent” means an individual identified in a sworn affidavit by a relative of the child by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, or adoption to have close personal or emotional ties with the child or the child’s family that pre-dated the child’s placement with the individual.

(2) “Grandparent” means a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-aunt, and great-uncle of a child.

(3) “Mayor” means the Mayor or a designee of the Mayor.

(3A) “Relative caregiver” means an individual who is the primary caretaker of the child and is related to the child by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, or adoption or is a godparent of the child.

(4) “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” or “TANF” means the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program established by § 4-202.01.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 101, 53 DCR 54; Dec. 15, 2015, D.C. Law 21-40, § 2(a), 62 DCR 13746.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-40 added (1A) and (3A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 101 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-508, Dec. 8, 2014, 61 DCR 12717, 20 STAT 4429).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-33, Mar. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 4540, 21 DCSTAT 870).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Foster Care Extended Eligibility Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-200, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15270).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-177, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 21).


§ 4–251.02. Establishment of program to provide subsidies for grandparent caregivers.

(a) No later than March 1, 2006, the Mayor shall establish a program through which eligible grandparents may receive subsidy payments for the care and custody of a child residing in their home.

(b) Repealed.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 102, 53 DCR 54; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 5002, 57 DCR 181.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-111, in subsec. (a), deleted “pilot” preceding “program”; and repealed subsec. (b), which had read as follows: “(b) The pilot program shall continue through September 30, 2009.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 102 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5002 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5002 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Short Title

Short title: Section 5001 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle A of title V of the act may be cited as the “Grandparent Caregivers Extension Program Amendment Act of 2009”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to D.C. Act 16-278, the Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Establishment Emergency Act of 2006, and any substantially identical successor legislation, see Mayor’s Order 2006-38, March 20, 2006 ( 53 DCR 5078).


§ 4–251.03. Eligibility.

(a) A grandparent may be eligible to receive subsidy payments under this section if:

(1) The grandparent has been the child’s primary caregiver for at least the previous 6 months.

(2) The child has resided in the grandparent’s home for at least the previous 6 months;

(3) The child’s parent has not resided in the grandparent’s home for at least the previous 6 months; provided, that a parent may reside in the home without disqualifying the grandparent from receiving a subsidy if:

(A) The parent has designated the grandparent to be the child’s standby guardian pursuant to Chapter 48 of Title 16;

(B) The parent is a minor enrolled in school; or

(C) The parent is a minor with a medically verifiable disability under criteria that shall be prescribed by the Mayor pursuant to § 4-251.06.

(4) The grandparent, and all adults residing in the grandparent’s home, has submitted to a criminal background check;

(5) The grandparent’s household income is under 200 percent of the federally-defined poverty level;

(6) The grandparent is a resident of the District as defined by § 4-205.03;

(7) The grandparent has applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits for the child;

(8) The grandparent has entered into a subsidy agreement that includes a provision that no payments received under the agreement shall inure to the benefit of the child’s parent but shall be solely for the benefit of the child;

(8A) The grandparent is not currently receiving a guardianship or adoption subsidy for the child;

(9) The grandparent has provided a signed statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the information provided to establish eligibility pursuant to this section, or any rules promulgated pursuant to § 4-251.06, is true and accurate to the best belief of the grandparent applicant; and

(10) The grandparent has met any additional requirements prescribed by the Mayor pursuant to rules issued under § 4-251.06.

(a-1) The Mayor may waive the eligibility requirements established in subsection (a)(1) and (2) of this section if:

(1) The Agency determines that the child is at risk of removal from the parent, guardian, or custodian pursuant to § 4-1301.07;

(2) The parent, guardian, or custodian permits the grandparent to be the child’s primary caregiver; and

(3) The parent, guardian, or custodian permits the child to reside with the grandparent.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall recertify the eligibility of each grandparent receiving a subsidy on at least an annual basis.

(2) For the purposes of the recertification, a grandparent may be required to provide a signed statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the information provided to establish continued eligibility pursuant to this section, or any rules promulgated pursuant to § 4-251.06, remains true and accurate to the best belief of the grandparent.

(c)(1) The Mayor shall terminate subsidy payments to a grandparent at any time if:

(A) The Mayor determines the grandparent no longer meets the eligibility requirements established by this section, or by rules issued under § 4-251.06; or

(B) There is a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect against the grandparent caregiver resulting in the removal of the child from the grandparent’s home.

(2) A grandparent whose subsidy payments are terminated as a result of the removal of the child from the grandparent’s home may reapply if the child has been returned to the grandparent’s home.

(d) Eligibility for subsidy payments under this section may continue until the child reaches 18 years of age.

(e) An applicant whose application for a subsidy has been denied or whose subsidy has been terminated shall be entitled to a hearing under the applicable provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 2; provided that a grandparent shall not be entitled to a hearing if the denial or termination of a subsidy is based upon the unavailability of appropriated funds.

(f) Any statement under this section made with knowledge that the information set forth therein is false shall be subject to prosecution as a false statement under § 22-2405(a).


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 103, 53 DCR 54; Sept. 20, 2007, D.C. Law 17-21, § 3(a), 54 DCR 6835; Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-261, § 2, 60 DCR 1296.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-251.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-21, in subsec. (a), rewrote pars. (1) and (3) and added par. (8A); and added subsec. (f).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-261 added (a-1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 103 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Safe and Stable Homes for Children and Youth Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-69, July 9, 2007, 54 DCR 6826).

For temporary (90 day) addition of (a-1), see § 2 of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-571, December 20, 2012, 60 DCR 97.

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-37, March 19, 2013, 60 DCR 4659, 20 DCSTAT 520).


§ 4–251.03a. Transfer of subsidy.

(a) The Mayor may transfer subsidy payments to a relative caregiver upon the death or mental or physical incapacity of a grandparent if:

(1) The relative caregiver files an application for a subsidy within 30 days of becoming the child’s primary caregiver;

(2) The relative caregiver has a strong commitment to caring for the child;

(3) The child’s parent does not reside in the relative caregiver’s home; provided, that a parent may reside in the home without disqualifying the relative caregiver from receiving a subsidy if:

(A) The parent has designated the relative caregiver to be the child’s standby guardian pursuant to Chapter 48 of Title 16;

(B) The parent is a minor enrolled in school; or

(C) The parent is a minor with a medically verifiable disability under criteria prescribed by the Mayor pursuant to § 4-251.06;

(4) The relative caregiver and all adults residing in the relative caregiver’s home have submitted to criminal background checks;

(5) The relative caregiver is a resident of the District as defined by § 4-205.03;

(6) The relative caregiver has applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits for the child;

(7) The relative caregiver has entered into a subsidy agreement that includes a provision that no payments received under the agreement shall inure to the benefit of the child’s parent but shall be solely for the benefit of the child;

(8) The relative caregiver is not currently receiving a guardianship or adoption subsidy for the child;

(9) The relative caregiver has provided a signed statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the information provided to establish eligibility pursuant to this section or rules issued pursuant to section 106 is true and accurate to the best belief of the relative caregiver; and

(10) The relative caregiver has met any additional requirements of rules issued pursuant to § 4-251.06.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall recertify the eligibility of each relative caregiver receiving a subsidy on at least an annual basis.

(2) For the purposes of the recertification, a relative caregiver may be required to provide a signed statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the information provided to establish continued eligibility pursuant to this section or any rules issued pursuant to § 4-251.06 remains true and accurate to the best belief of the relative caregiver.

(c)(1) The Mayor shall terminate subsidy payments to a relative caregiver at any time if:

(A) The Mayor determines the relative caregiver no longer meets the eligibility requirements established by this section or by rules issued pursuant to §  4-251.06; or

(B) There is a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect against the relative caregiver resulting in the removal of the child from the relative caregiver’s home.

(2) A relative caregiver whose subsidy payments are terminated as a result of the removal of the child from the relative caregiver’s home may reapply if the child has been returned to the relative caregiver’s home.

(d) Eligibility for subsidy payments under this section may continue until the child reaches 18 years of age.

(e) The determination of whether to transfer a subsidy is solely within the discretion of the Mayor.

(f) A relative caregiver whose application for a subsidy transfer has been denied shall not be entitled to a hearing under subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.].

(g) A relative caregiver whose subsidy has been terminated shall be entitled to a fair hearing under the applicable provisions of subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.]; provided, that a relative caregiver shall not be entitled to a hearing if the termination of a subsidy is based upon the unavailability of appropriated funds.

(h) Any statement under this section made with knowledge that the information set forth in the statement is false shall be subject to prosecution as a false statement under § 22-2405(a).


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 103a; as added Dec. 15, 2015, D.C. Law 21-40, § 2(b), 62 DCR 13746.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(b) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-508, Dec. 8, 2014, 61 DCR 12717, 20 STAT 4429).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(b) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-33, Mar. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 4540, 21 DCSTAT 870).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(b) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-200, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15270).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) addition of this section, see § 2(b) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-177, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 21).


§ 4–251.04. Subsidies.

(a) All subsidies established under this chapter shall be subject to the availability of appropriations. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating an entitlement to a subsidy for any person.

(b) Pursuant to § 4-251.06, the Mayor shall establish by rule the amount of a subsidy a grandparent or relative caregiver is eligible to receive under this chapter; provided, that the subsidy shall be at least 66%, but no more than 105%, of the regular daily rate of the subsidy for a long-term permanent Level 1 guardianship established under § 29-6103.3 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(c) The amount of a subsidy a grandparent or relative caregiver is eligible to receive under this chapter shall be offset by any amount a grandparent or relative caregiver receives as TANF or Supplemental Security Income for the child.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 104, 53 DCR 54; Sept. 20, 2007, D.C. Law 17-21, § 3(b), 54 DCR 6835; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-370, § 502, 58 DCR 1008; Dec. 15, 2015, D.C. Law 21-40, § 2(c), 62 DCR 13746.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-21, in subsec. (b), substituted “within 5% (no less than 95% and no more than 105%) of the regular daily rate of the subsidy for a long-term permanent Level 1 guardianship” for “no less than the regular daily rate of the subsidy for a long-term permanent guardianship”; and, in subsec. (c), substituted “receives as TANF or Supplemental Security Income” for “receives from TANF”.

D.C. Law 18-370, in subsec. (b), substituted “that the subsidy shall be at least 66%, but no more than 105%” for “that the subsidy shall be within 5% (no less than 95% and no more than 105%)”.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-40 substituted “grandparent or relative caregiver” for “grandparent” throughout (b) and (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 104 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(b) of Safe and Stable Homes for Children and Youth Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-69, July 9, 2007, 54 DCR 6826).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 502 of Fiscal Year 2011 Supplemental Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-694, January 19, 2011, 58 DCR 662).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-508, Dec. 8, 2014, 61 DCR 12717, 20 STAT 4429, 20 STAT 4429).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-33, Mar. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 4540, 21 DCSTAT 870).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 2(c) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-200, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15270).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-177, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 21).

Short Title

Short title: Section 501 of D.C. Law 18-370 provided that subtitle A of title V of the act may be cited as “Grandparent Caregivers Program and Long-Term Permanent Guardianship Subsidies Amendment Act of 2010”.

Editor's Notes

Section 503 of D.C. Law 18-370 provided: “Sec. 503. Applicability. This subtitle shall apply as of January 1, 2011.”


§ 4–251.05. Reports.

No later than February 28th of each year, beginning in 2018, the Mayor shall issue a report to the Council on the subsidy program established by this chapter. At a minimum, the report shall include:

(1) The number of applications filed for the subsidy;

(2) The number of subsidies awarded;

(3) The number of families receiving both the subsidy and TANF;

(4) The number of applications denied for failure to meet eligibility criteria;

(5) The number of applications denied for lack of appropriated funding;

(5A) The number of subsidies transferred to a relative caregiver pursuant to § 4-251.03a;

(6) An estimate of the number of grandparent caregivers whose income is less than 200 percent of the federally-defined poverty level but who have not applied for the subsidy;

(7) The number of subsidies terminated by the Mayor pursuant to § 4-251.03(c) or voluntarily by the grandparent caregiver;

(8) The number of substantiated cases of fraud and a comparison of this figure to the proportion of cases of fraud involving other benefit programs, including TANF, Food Stamps, and Medicaid;

(9) The number of children removed from households receiving a subsidy under the program established by this chapter due to a substantiated allegation of child abuse or neglect; and

(10) Any legislative, policy, or administrative recommendations of the Family Court of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or of agencies designated by the Mayor to execute the provisions of this chapter that are intended to enhance the effectiveness of the program.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 105, 53 DCR 54; Dec. 15, 2015, D.C. Law 21-40, § 2(d), 62 DCR 13746; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 5022, 64 DCR 7652.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-40 added (5A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 5022 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 5022 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 105 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-508, Dec. 8, 2014, 61 DCR 12717, 20 STAT 4429).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-33, Mar. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 4540, 21 DCSTAT 870).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-200, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15270).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-177, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 21).


§ 4–251.06. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 30-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 106, 53 DCR 54.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-251.03 and § 4-251.04.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 106 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to D.C. Act 16-278, the Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Establishment Emergency Act of 2006, and any substantially identical successor legislation, see Mayor’s Order 2006-38, March 20, 2006 ( 53 DCR 5078).

Resolutions

Resolution 16-795, the “Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Subsidy Rules Approval Resolution of 2006”, was approved effective September 21, 2006.


§ 4–251.07. Construction.

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as relieving the parent of a child from any child support order regarding the child for whom a grandparent or relative caregiver is receiving a subsidy under this chapter.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create a new cause of action or to limit the rights or remedies available to parents in custody or guardianship actions.


(Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-69, § 107, 53 DCR 54; Dec. 15, 2015, D.C. Law 21-40, § 2(e), 62 DCR 13746.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-40 substituted “grandparent or relative caregiver” for “grandparent” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 107 of Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-278, February 22, 2006, 53 DCR 1459).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Grandparent Caregivers Program Subsidy Transfer Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-200, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15270).