Kinship is any living arrangement in which an extended family or community member who is emotionally close to the child takes primary responsibility for raising the child. The child is by way of court order or Temporary Care Agreement is in the custody of the children’s aid society, but placed with the extended family or community member. Kinship care providers must meet the foster licensing requirements, including the home study and pre-service training requirements of foster care and adoption applicants.
As above, the child is placed in the care of an extended family or community member, however is not in the care and custody of the children’s aid society. The children’s aid society is involved in providing services to the child and parents, and kinship service families are assigned a child welfare worker. Kinship service families must undergo a home study, but the home study does not meet the same threshold as the SAFE home study utilized for foster, kinship care and adoption applicants. The parent or caretaker of the child maintains custodial rights, but parties agree that the child will stay with the extended family or community member while services are provided. In some situations, the Court may order the child to reside with the kinship service family, but custodial rights are not interrupted. Financial support to the kinship service family is provided by the province of Ontario through the Family Benefits program and not the children’s aid society.
Benefits of Kinship
Children can live with people who they know and trust and have some connection to their family of origin. The integrity of the family’s cultural and ethnic identity is supported· Children may be able to remain in their own community. A child’s sense of belonging to a family is often enhanced.
The Kinship Program
- Searches actively for kith and/or kin for the purpose of a placement
- Completes a child-specific home study with the focus of securing a placement for the child(ren)
- Provides Child and Youth Work support to children and families during the child(ren)’s transition into their new home and later on when needed
- Collaborates with the family and other service providers in the assessment process
- Assigns a Resource Worker to provide support and consultation to the Kin Foster Parents while ensuring they follow the Society’s policies and the licensing requirements of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Contact the child’s worker if you know his or her name. If you don’t know the name, call Intake at 705-743-9751
How to become a Kin Provider
- Participate in a strengths based assessment, focusing on the child’s needs
- Attend education training sessions
- Complete the following checks: Criminal Record; Child Welfare History; Medical Report; Personal references