Keeping Families Together
We believe children and youth thrive in their families. Whenever possible, we reach out to families for help.
“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”
– Brad Henry
When children cannot be cared for safely by their parents, we look to other family members or people who are familiar to the child to provide a safe, nurturing home for as long as that child requires it. We call this Kinship Service.
There are two ways that a child can be placed in your home under Kinship Service;
1. Voluntary Service Agreement
The child’s parent signs an agreement with Family and Children’s Services placing the child with a kin service caregiver for a specific period of time. The child’s parent, the kin service caregiver and the workers involved will sit down and talk about what everyone is responsible for. The child’s parent has the right to make decisions about school and medical care.
2. Supervision Order
The Court may make an order to place the child with a kin service caregiver for a period ranging between 4-12 months. The Court will give the child’s parent some things to work on during this time. Plans for visiting between the child and the parent will be ordered by the Court.
When children cannot be cared for in the home with their parents, we ask the parents and child to identify their family and friends who are a support. A Family Finder maps out the family genogram and may arrange a Family Networking Meeting. You may also ask the child’s family to put your name forward as a potential kin support.
Once you decide you would like to provide care to the child/ren, a Kin Worker will contact you in order to complete a Kin Assessment. The Kin Worker will answer your questions and ask you for documentation.
Some points you may want to consider before you meet with the Kin Worker:
- Your relationship to the child and where the child will live;
- Who would take care of the child every day and where the child will go to school;
- Where would the child would go to daycare or who the babysitter will be;
- How long do you plan to care for the child how you could work with F&CS and support the parents?
The Kin Assessment:
To be sure that your home is a safe place for the child to be, a Kin Worker will meet with you. The worker will look at the safety of your home as well as your ability to meet the child’s needs.
The Kinship Assessment includes a Home Safety Checklist and interviews. During the interviews, you will talk about things like: your relationship to the child and parents, the child’s needs, your health and family history, any trouble with the law or problems keeping children safe in the past, your ability to add this child to your family and still give your family what they need.
Documents you will need:
Each person living in your home who is 18 years old or older must have two checks.
Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector
Police Record Checks :: St. Thomas Police Service :: Consumer :: Home – This is a special check that is used when people want to work with children.
Consent for Child Welfare Record Check
This enables the Kin Worker to check to see if you have been involved with a Children’s Aid Society before in other areas where you have lived.
Offering to care for a child you know, who needs a safe home to live, is a generous gift. There are important things to consider when you make to when you make the decision to become a Kinship Service caregiver.
- Am I ready and willing to adjust my role in the child’s life and to be a “parent” to the child for as long as they need it?
- Will this change my relationship with the parents and child?
- How do I feel about the child’s parents? Can I facilitate family visits between the parents and their child?
- How will adding a child to my family impact my ability to meet my family’s needs?
- How will it impact me if there is a court case involving the child and parents?
- If the child cannot be reunified with their parent, would I consider legal custody or adoption?
When parents make the changes that are needed to keep their children safe and well cared for, we hope that you will continue to be a support to the family. The supportive and loving environment you provided for the child will be a lifelong gift to the child and family.
You can contact the Family Finder directly if you would like to be a kin support to a child and their family:
519-631-1492 ext. 203
519-631-1492 ext. 247
Kin Service Support
FACS does not reimburse Kinship Service families to care for children, but you can look here for help: