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What does it mean to become a Kinship Care Family?

When the primary caregivers of a child (usually their biological parents) are having problems and cannot safely care for a child, it can be extremely difficult for the child to be placed in a foster home. Despite the safety and excellent care they receive in a foster home, the placement is still with people who are strangers to the child. Living with kin—people the child is comfortable and connected with—can make this difficult time easier for a child.

How do I become an approved Kinship Care Family?

You can start by speaking with a social worker at Family and Children’s Services or call us. A worker/staff person will answer your questions and explain the process to you. Your inquiry is kept confidential and any information about you is only shared with your consent. A parent or the child may suggest your home as a potential home for the child and a social worker might contact you.

The process begins with an initial interview by a social worker from Family and Children’s Services. The worker will visit your home and speak with you about you, your home and of course, the child and what the child needs at this point in their life. The initial interview explores issues that focus on safety and well being and discussing with you how well the child will fit into your home.

Because the agency is legally responsible for all the children we serve, it also has a legal obligation to assess and approve the families who accept children for placement in their homes, even extended family members. The standard for assessing and preparing prospective kinship care families is the same as that for evaluating all foster or adoptive caregiver applicants.

There are basic standards required of every prospective resource family. These standards will be discussed with you during the interview process.

What support and services do I receive as a Kinship Care provider?

When a child is brought into the care of the agency and is officially a ‘child in care’ they are eligible to be placed with a kinship care family. Once approved as their placement family, you will receive the ongoing support of a Child Services Worker (CSW) who will work with the child and your family during their placement with you. You will also receive financial support payments to help you cover some of the costs associated with having the child in your home.

When reunification with the child’s primary family is not possible, the kinship care family may provide permanent care for the child through adoption or legal custody.

We appreciate your willingness to be considered as a possible placement for a child important in your life, and we want to work with you to move forward in the best interest of that child. Research and experience over the years has shown that children placed in kinship care homes often feel a strong sense of belonging and connection to community, cultural, and family heritage.

Basic Approval Requirements:

  1. Ministry housing safety requirements.
  2. Income and financial responsibility.
  3. A stable Marital status
  4. Criminal record check (all parties)
  5. Child Welfare Agency Record check
  6. References checked
  7. Medical Report for all in the residence
  8. PRIDE pre-service program
  9. Complete a Psychometric Assessment

Once the agency has ensured that the above requirements have been met, applicants will be invited to continue with the application steps. Through the application process, we are asking you to disclose very personal information to the agency, and understand that you may feel some discomfort and anxiety in discussing these matters. We appreciate your cooperation in sharing such personal information with us. Your interest in helping children, and the agency’s responsibility in placing children with families means we have to work together as a team to achieve our mutual goals. An honest and open discussion between prospective kinship care parents and the Resource Worker about these basic approval requirements is the beginning of a teamwork relationship that will benefit children.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation