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Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP)

CAFÉ Upgrade

DCFS has upgraded the technology system behind our CAFÉ Self-Service Portal for individuals applying for or receiving SNAP, LaCAP, FITAP, KCSP and Child Support benefits. The upgrade makes communicating with your caseworker easier, increases applicant and recipient access to information and improves our overall service delivery.

KCSP provides cash assistance of $222 per month for each eligible
child who resides with a qualified relative other than a parent.

Do I Qualify for KCSP?

A child may meet the eligibility requirements for both the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) but may only receive assistance in one program.

To receive KCSP for a child, the family must meet all the conditions listed below:

  • The child must live in the home of one of the following qualified relatives (either biological or adoptive): grandfather or grandmother (extends to great-great-great), brother or sister (including half), uncle or aunt (extends to great-great), stepbrother, stepsister, first cousin, including first cousin once removed, and nephew or niece (extends to great-great), or the legal spouse of the above-listed relatives.
  • The child must have income of less than $222 per month. 
  • The child must be under 18 years of age.
  • The child must be a resident of Louisiana.
  • The child must be a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
  • The qualified relative must provide proof of immunity or immunization against vaccine-preventable disease for each child under 18 years of age.
  • The qualified relative must possess or obtain within one year of certification, either legal custody or guardianship or provisional custody by mandate of the eligible child who is living in the home. Legal custody or guardianship must be granted by a court and verified through court records or other reliable documents. Provisional custody by mandate is a notarized authorization made by the child´s parent or parents to a person of legal age to provide care, custody, and control of a minor child. Certain requirements must be met for the execution of this document.  Provisional Custody by Mandate is valid for one year or until ended by the parent.
  • The family must have an annual income of less than 150% of the federal poverty threshold, in accordance with the qualified relative's family size. Income from all sources is considered in determination of eligibility.  This includes income from Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, Railroad Retirement, wages and any other regular income.
  • The qualified relative must assign to the state rights to child support from any other person and cooperate with Child Support Enforcement Services in obtaining child support for the child unless good cause is established. 
  • The qualified relative must furnish or apply for a social security number for the child.
  • The parent(s) of the child must not live in the home of the qualified relative.

How and Where Do I Apply?

Click here for information on applying for Kinship
Care Subsidy Program and other Family Services.


Apply online, at any Economic Stability Parish office or by phone at 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578).

You can also download an application and fill it out by hand.

  • Mail the completed form to the Document Processing Center:
    • DCFS Economic Stability
      P.O. Box 260031
      Baton Rouge, LA 70826
  • Or fax the completed form to:
    • (225) 663-3164

Cash Benefit Restrictions for recipients of FITAP and KCSP

Cash benefits provided to FITAP and/or KCSP recipients through Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards cannot be used at certain types of retailers and establishments. They also cannot be used at any retailer to buy jewelry.  Cash benefits from DCFS are intended to be used to meet the basic needs of families.  Those basic needs include food, shelter, and clothing.

FITAP or KCSP cash benefits cannot be used in any electronic benefits transfer transaction (EBT Card) to purchase any of the following:

  • an alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, hard liquor)
  • a tobacco product (cigarettes, etc)
  • a lottery ticket (including scratch-off tickets)
  • jewelry

Cash benefits cannot be spent in any EBT transaction or at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at any of the following types of establishments:

  • liquor store (this does not include grocery stores that sell liquor)
  • casino (any place that allows gambling, but does not include a store that sells groceries and is housed in the same building as a casino)
  • any adult bookstore, any adult paraphernalia store, or any sexually oriented business (strip clubs, etc.)
  • Any tattoo, piercing, or commercial body art facility
  • Any nail salon
  • Any jewelry store
  • Any amusement or video arcade (including movie theaters)
  • Any bail bonds company
  • Any night club, bar, tavern, or saloon
  • Any cruise ship
  • Any psychic business
  • Any establishment where persons under age 18 are not permitted

If recipients use their cash benefits for the purchase of one of the ineligible items listed above or at one of the types of establishments listed above, their case will close for the following time periods:

  • 12 months for the first offense,
  • 24 months for the second offense, and
  • Permanently for the third offense.

If you have questions, please call 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578).

Updated April 17, 2014

Applicants must be interviewed and provide proof of statements made on the application regarding eligibility. This proof may include a birth or baptismal record to show the child’s age, a copy of the court-awarded custody or guardianship documents or notarial statement, or other documents needed to establish the child’s relationship to the qualified relative.

What are My Rights? 

As an applicant, you have certain rights.  You have a right to:

  • Receive an application the same day you ask for it.
  • Turn in your application the same day you receive it.
  • Receive your benefits (or be notified that you are not eligible for the program) within 30 days after you turn in your application. 
  • Have a fair hearing if you disagree with any action taken on your case. 

If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age disability or on the basis of religion or political beliefs, you may email your complaint to DCFS.BureauofCivilRights@LA.GOV or obtain a Civil Rights Complaint form at any local DCFS Office.  You may also write to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Regional Office for Civil Rights, 1301 Young Street – Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202.

How Are My Benefits Issued?

Check the Balance on your Louisiana
Purchase Card (EBT Account) at JPMorgan Chase.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a method of delivering governmental benefits to recipients electronically. Louisiana uses magnetic stripe card technology. The card, which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase Card enables recipients to access benefits at ATM’s and Point-of-Sale (POS) machines. 

Cash benefits are posted to recipient accounts during the first five days of the month. Recipient benefits are accessible by 5:00 a.m. the morning after they are posted. Benefits are posted on the same date every month regardless of the day of the week. Holidays and weekends do not affect the date of benefit availability. 

Benefits are secure and accessible only to persons authorized by the recipient. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is selected by the recipient and must be correctly entered in order to successfully complete all electronic transactions. As purchases or cash withdrawals are made at grocery store checkout lanes and ATM’s, recipient accounts are debited and the recipient is given a receipt which provides the remaining account balance.

SUMMARY OF EBT TRANSACTION FEESA transaction fee is the amount some retailers charge you each time you access your cash benefits, and these fees are deducted from your available balance.  There is never a fee charged to your EBT card to make a purchase or to make a purchase with cash back at a Point-of-Sale (POS) machine in a grocery or retail store; however, retailers may charge their usual and customary check cashing fee if you are withdrawing cash at a POS without a purchase of goods or services.  There is a $1.00 fee associated with each cash withdrawal from an ATM.

Surcharge-Free ATMs

In addition to the transaction fee of $1.00 for each cash withdrawal which is assessed at all ATMs, a surcharge fee may also be assessed. A surcharge is the amount some ATMs charge you each time you withdraw your cash benefits, and this surcharge is deducted from your available balance. The following list of surcharge-free ATM owners provide you access to your cash benefits without being surcharged by the ATM:


Reporting the Misuse of the ebt card

Prohibition of Unauthorized Use or Purchases Made with the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card:

Recipients of Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) are prohibited from using their KCSP benefits in any Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transaction or use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at any of the following types of establishments: any liquor store (this does not include grocery stores that sell liquor); any gambling casino or gaming establishment (any place that allows gambling, but does not include a store that sells groceries and is housed in the same building as a casino); any adult bookstores, any adult paraphernalia store, or any sexually oriented business (strip clubs, etc.); any tattoo, piercing, or commercial body art facility; any nail salon; any jewelry store; any amusement ride, amusement attraction, or video arcade (including movie theaters); any bail bonds company; any night club, bar, tavern, or saloon; any cruise ship; any psychic business; or any establishment where persons under age 18 are not permitted.

In addition, KCSP recipients are prohibited from using their EBT card for the purchase of an alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, hard liquor), a tobacco product (cigarettes, etc.), a lottery ticket (including scratch-off tickets), or jewelry at any retailer.


Failure to comply with these prohibitions is considered an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) and the penalty is full case closure. The penalty time periods are:

  • 12 months for the first offense,
  • 24 months for the second offense, and
  • Permanently for the third offense.

Reporting of Misuse of the EBT Card:

The agency will rely on retailers and the public to report the misuse of benefits. Individuals are encouraged to call DCFS' toll-free hotline at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) and select option 7 from the main menu or by visiting filling out the online form.

To report a complaint to the Fraud & Recovery Unit, retailers and the public may call the 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578), email the complaint to DCFS.Fraud@LA.GOV, fax the complaint at (225) 219-1663 or mail the complaint to: Fraud and Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 91147, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9147.

KCSP HistoryThe Department of Children & Family Services, Economic Stability Division implemented Louisiana's Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) on March 1, 2000. This program is funded by Louisiana's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Block Grant and was implemented as a result of legislation passed during the 1999 Louisiana State Legislature.


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