(1) To be eligible for Families First a child must live in a place of residence maintained by the relative as his or her own home and the home of the child.

(2) A home is considered to be a family setting maintained (or in the process of being established) by the relative who requests Families First for a child in his/her care and control. Usually the child continuously shares the same household with the applicant relative. A child is considered to be living in the relative's home as long as the applicant/relative continues to provide care and control of the child even though circumstances may require temporary absence of either the child or the relative from the customary family setting.

(3) A relative has care and control of a child if he/she is providing day to day care, support, supervision, and has major responsibility for these parental obligations.

(4) Temporary Absence.

(a) Temporary absence of the child or relative is one of short duration with specific intentions of returning on or about a specific date. Any absence of either the child or the grantee relative which will extend beyond a 3 month period will be reviewed to determine whether this relative does, in fact, retain the care, supervision, and control of this child for a major portion of each month.

(b) Assistance may be granted to a relative for a child who is temporarily out of the home when, for example, the child:

1. Goes away for a visit;

2. Is in a hospital temporarily for treatment;

3. Attends summer camp;

4. Attends an accredited or approved school away from home for the purpose of academic education or vocational or technical training because school facilities to meet this child's special needs are not available in his/her own community. It must be documented that the child does have special needs which cannot be met in his/her home community;

5. Attends college or university or other vocational or technical school on a scholarship or other grant that is not available in his/her own community and his/her parents or other relatives retain responsibility for his/her care and control;

6. Is in a psychiatric facility and has not been placed there by a court order and is only temporarily out of the home; or

7. Is in a maternity home.

(c) Assistance may continue to be paid to a relative who is temporarily out of the home when, for example, the relative:

1. Goes away for a visit;

2. Is providing some care for a spouse or child who is hospitalized;

3. Is attending a specialized training facility not available in his/her home community (as through the auspices of Services for the Blind or Vocational Rehabilitation);

4. Is hospitalized for acute illness or injury, is in a maternity home or convalescent care facility for the purpose of obtaining special care not available in the home;

5. Is temporarily absent for the purpose of setting up a home to which he/she will move his/her children;

6. Enters a psychiatric facility and has not been placed there by Court Order and is only temporarily absent from the home for a period of time not to exceed three (3) months.

(d) When it cannot be established that the child lives in the home of the applicant/grantee relative or when the applicant/grantee relative states that the child is temporarily absent, it must be established that the applicant/grantee relative does, in fact, retain full responsibility for the child's care and control. This determination will be based on the following information:

1. The whereabouts of the child and the date of departure and the expected date of return to the home.

2. The reason for the child's absence and the person responsible for the plan.

3. The responsibility the applicant/grantee relative has for the child while he/she is away from home; and

4. Actual arrangements being made for the child's return to the home.

(Original rule filed December 2, 1996; effective February 15, 1997.)

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-5-201 et seq., 71-1-105, Public Acts of 1996, Chapter 950, and 45 CFR 233.90.

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