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Kinship Service (Out of Care) and Kinship Care (In Care) have been formalized as two homes for children and youth in need of protection. Wherever possible, Children's Aid Societies turn to extended family (kin) or members of the child's community to provide safe, nurturing, alternate living arrangements for children and young people at risk of neglect or abuse. Child protection workers begin to search for kin when they determine that a child may need protection or if the child's family indicates that they need help from their extended family or community in caring for the child.

Kinship Service

Kinship Service allows Children's Aid Societies to provide services that ensure child safety in circumstances where the child is not in the care of the Society and remains within his/her family or community. Staff thoroughly screen and assess prospective extended family or community caregivers to evaluate the capacity of the family or community member to care for the child in a safe home environment. Whenever possible, the assessment takes place before the child moves into the kinship home. It includes completing a criminal record and child welfare records check on any person over the age of 18 living in the home, a personal interview with the proposed caregiver, a private interview with the child (depending on the child's age and developmental capacity) and a thorough assessment of the home environment. Provincial Kinship Service standards are intended to meet the safety needs of children and to promote permanency for children who receive child protection services and are being cared for by members of their extended family or community. They are intended to result in care and support that is consistent with family and community traditions for children unable to remain with their family because of protection concerns.

Kinship Care

Kinship Care is provided for children who are in the care of the Children's Aid Society and are placed with a member of their extended family or community. The standard for assessing and preparing prospective kinship care families is the same as that for evaluating all foster or adoptive caregiver applicants. Families are thoroughly assessed using a process and tools that assists in determining their capacity to meet a child's needs for safety, well being and permanence. Families also participate in P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Pre-Service Training. Through P.R.I.D.E., kinship families learn about issues related to attachment, loss, child development, effective parenting strategies, teamwork and the impact of placement on family relationships. Kinship care families receive ongoing support from the Society which enables them to provide safe, nurturing care for a child on either a temporary or long term basis. When reunification with the child's primary family is not possible, the kinship family may provide permanent care for the child through adoption or legal custody.