Kinship is any living arrangement in which a relative or someone else who is emotionally close to the child takes primary responsibility for raising the child.

The 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 and children may be able to remain in their own community. Additionally, a child's sense of belonging to a family is often enhanced.

Family Finding

When children cannot be cared for by their parents or guardians, the next best placement for them is within their extended family or member of their community. The Society seeks extended family (kin) or members of the child’s community (kith) to provide safe, nurturing, alternate living arrangements for children and young people at risk of neglect or abuse. This reduces stress for children coming into care, maintains family and community connections and increases the likelihood of the child’s reunification with his/her primary family.

Kinship Service

Kinship service is support provided for children not in CAS care, but who are living with kin as they are unable to remain with their family due to protection concerns. If you believe there is a situation where you could help as a kinship caregiver, please contact the Society. A screening process will be completed to assess your home environment and whether you, and those you live with, can provide care and a safe home environment for a child experiencing difficulty at home.

 See Kinship Service Standards (2006)) from the Ministry        

Kinship Care

Kinship care is provided for children who are in the care of the Society and are placed with a member of their extended family or community member who may have a significant relationship with the child. These families are assessed the same as foster or adoptive caregiver applicants and are required to successfully complete a Home Study process, as well as attend training. Kinship care families receive ongoing agency support to assist them in caring for the child.

ARTICLE: How kinship families are improving child welfare outcomes for children and families in Ontario

Customary Care

Customary care is part of the continuum of care options for Aboriginal children. It incorporates the unique traditions and customs of each First Nation. It is a traditional method of caring for children, premised on the belief that a child is a sacred gift from the Creator and as such is the collective responsibility of the community. Customary Care Agreements are used when protection concerns in a family require out-of-home placement.

Other Ways You can be Involved with a Child 

  • Sharing a meal together
  • Watching sporting events, taking them to music lessons
  • Attending important cultural events together
  • Taking the child for a weekend visit
  • Spending time together during a special holiday
  • Sending birthday cards
  • Phone calls or text messages
  • Supporting their contact with family
  • Information from OACAS

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