A Guide for Relative Caregivers – Relative Caregiver Affidavit

There are thousands of children within the state of Missouri who do not live with their parents. Instead, they are usually cared for by family members who are referred to as relative caregivers*.

As you may know, caring for a child is not easy. If you are, or may become, a relative caregiver, you may find yourself facing a host of new responsibilities. While relative caregivers do not have the same rights as the child’s biological parents, they are allowed to enroll the child in school and authorize health care for the child.

Missouri law requires that a relative caregiver must complete the “Relative Caregiver Affidavit” form that allows him or her to obtain health care for a child and enroll the child in school.

The affidavit has to be completed and signed by the caregiver in front of a Notary Public, and may be provided to schools and/or medical providers when services for the child are sought and consented to by the relative caregiver. The affidavit expires after a year and it can be cancelled by the parent at any time. If the child stops living with the relative caregiver, the relative caregiver shall immediately notify any health care provider or school that has been given the affidavit. The affidavit will be invalid immediately upon receipt by the health care provider or school of the notice.

For more information, read the complete section of state law concerning relative caregivers here.

*Under Section 431.058.1 RSMo, the definition of a relative caregiver is “a competent adult who is related to a child by blood, marriage, or adoption who is not the parent and who represents in the affidavit described under subsection 8 of this section that the child lives with the adult and that the adult is responsible for the care of the child.”

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