What is Kinship Care?
- When children are no longer able to remain in their home because of protection concerns or special needs, we often seek out extended family members or kin such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or someone who has a meaningful relationship with the child, to provide temporary care.
- Our staff will work with you to facilitate the application and placement process, support your family during the transition, and help you nurture connections between the child and birth parents.
How do I apply to become a kin caregiver?
- If you know a child in your extended family who could benefit from kin care, and you think you have the special qualities and time to become their caregiver, please call 416-395-1500.
- Our Kinship Care Services staff will be pleased to assist and answer your questions, and explain the application process to you.
What qualifications are required to become a kin caregiver?
You have the qualification to become a kin caregiver if you have:
- kinship ties to a child
- the ability to care for a child and make him or her feel wanted and loved
- a commitment to the child’s emotional and individual development needs
- team collaboration and communication skills
- flexibility at work to be available for emergencies, school breaks, meetings, or a secondary caregiver that can provide this support
- committed to attend training sessions to support the child
What do kin caregivers do?
- They provide children with a safe and nurturing home in a family-based environment when they are not able to remain in their own home because of child protection concerns or special needs.
- Kin caregivers are role models, teachers, and nurturers to children, who help them develop healthy self-esteem, values, and positive behaviours.
- Besides ensuring that a child's mental, emotional and physical needs are met, kin caregivers help maintain familial, cultural, social and religious ties for a child.
- Our kin caregivers work as a team with CCAS staff, children and their parents to establish the best plan of care for the child. The initial plan is usually to reunite a child with his or her family; however, sometimes this is not possible. In these situations, we work with the child, parents, extended family, and kin caregivers to develop a plan for them to live in the best possible permanent home — this could include a continuation of kinship care, private guardianship, or adoption.
What are the benefits of Kinship Care?
- Children experience less trauma when they are placed with kin because they already have existing attachments and relationships with extended family members.
- Kin care may make it easier for the child to have more frequent contact with birth parents, and it may also provide a quicker resolution to the challenges faced by children and their parents.
Do kin caregivers receive support?
- As a kin caregiver you will receive guidance and support from our Service Team to ensure that you and the child's needs are met.
- These supports could include baby-sitting, or recreational and social activities in the community.
- Kin caregivers may also receive financial compensation for the following expenses related to children in their care:
- practical help with setting up your home to care for the child
- day-to-day costs of raising a child such as food, clothing, shelter, personal care items, general household costs and a spending allowance
- respite provisions
- medical coverage
Who are the kinship care families at CCAS?
- Our Kinship Care community reflects Toronto’s diversity in language, race, culture, family constellation, and economic circumstance.
- Kin caregivers can be married or single, with or without children. Some are experienced parents with older children.
- Some kinship caregivers work full-time outside of the home, while others are stay-at-home caregivers. All share a genuine interest in the well-being of our community's children.
What's involved in the application process?
- Discussing your interest in becoming a kin caregiver with our Staff
- Completing a homestudy process (Please discuss this with our Staff)