Benefits for caregivers raising children

During the child protection process, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (the ministry) or a delegated Aboriginal agency might place a child who needs protection in someone else's care. The child's caregiver might be anyone who has an established relationship with the child or a cultural or traditional responsibility toward the child. The caregiver doesn't have to be a relative.

If you're raising someone's child, you might be able to get government benefits (money). The amount of money you can get to pay for the child's needs depends on whether you have a guardianship order or an adoption order, are caring for a child informally, or are a foster parent (the ministry placed the child with you).

Get legal advice or talk to an advocate before you apply for guardianship, adopt a child, or sign an agreement to provide foster care. They can help you with your application and tell you how your benefits would be affected. If the ministry is providing services for the child, you must also consult with the social worker.

The table here lists some of the benefits that might be available if you're caring for a child who needs protection and when you might get the benefits. You have to meet certain qualifications to get some of these benefits.

  • Many of the benefits listed are available to relatives and non-relatives. Check with the appropriate agency to find out for sure.
  • The table gives general information only and doesn't include benefits in specific situations. Rules change and there are exceptions. Check to find out whether the information applies to you.
  • The table includes links to agencies for more information.

Benefits and who qualifies

* The ministry's interim policy and procedures (April 2010) limit eligibility for Extended Family Program benefits to caregivers who don't have guardianship of the child. They also require the child's parents to agree to the Extended Family Program.

** These benefits might also be available to caregivers who don't have a guardianship order.

Benefit

Adoption

Guardianship order

Foster care

Extended Family Program

No

No *

No *

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Benefits for Children under 25 (based on disability or death of a parent or other person who had care and control of the child and contributed to CPP)

No

Yes **

No: benefits go to the Public Trustee to be held for the child

Income tax deduction for dependents with disabilities

Yes

Yes **

No

Child Disability Benefit

Yes

Yes **

No

Canada Child Benefit

Yes

Yes **

No

Employment Insurance (EI) Family Supplement

Yes

Yes **

No

Affordable Child Care Benefit (for parents with low incomes or if the Ministry of Children and Family Development recommends it)

Yes

Yes **

Yes

Income assistance (welfare) benefits, including disability assistance (PWD) and Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers benefits (PPMB)

Yes: the child is part of your family unit

No: not on behalf of the child, who qualifies instead for the Extended Family Program benefits, which pays more than welfare; the caregiver qualifies for welfare **

No: getting the basic family foster care rate doesn't affect the caregiver qualifying for welfare

Foster care payments and benefits

No: some exceptions like post-adoption assistance

No

Yes

BC's Adoption expense credit (also check with an accountant to find out how adoption might affect your personal income tax)

Yes

 

 

Maintenance (child support) from the child's biological parents

No

Yes: deducted from the Extended Family Program benefits **

No: any maintenance payments go to the ministry

BC Training and Education Savings Grant

Yes: if the child was born after January 1, 2007, adopted by parents who live in BC, and the child later goes to post-secondary school in BC

Yes: if the child was born after January 1, 2007, adopted by parents who live in BC, and the child later goes to post-secondary school in BC

Yes: if the child was born after January 1, 2007, adopted by parents who live in BC, and the child later goes to post-secondary school in BC

These websites also have information about benefits you might qualify for: