Question 1:  What is the difference between Kinship Service and Kinship Care.

Kinship Care applies to a child in need of protection who is admitted to the care of BGCFS and is placed with a member of the child’s extended family or community.  Kinship Care homes must meet provinicial foster care licensing standards, including completion of required training. Provincial child in care standards also apply to the home.

Kinship Service applies to a child that is in need of protection and placed with a member of the child’s extended family or community, but not admitted to the care of BGCFS. 

Question 2: Can search for kin be initiated without the consent of the parent(s)?

If an extended family or community member either comes forward or is identified through other means, and has a connection with the child and may be able to offer a home, BGCFS may assess the proposed plan. Exploring this option could potentially avoid an admission to BGCFS care.  However, all best efforts will be made to gain the cooperation and consent of the parent(s) since the ongoing planning for the child will be linked to plans developed by the child’s family.

Question 3: Is it necessary to have the police checks returned before the child can move into the kinship home?

No.  However, the local child welfare records must be checked and consents for police checks and child welfare checks in other jurisdictions must be obtained from the primary kin caregiver before the child moves into the home.  If the child is already living with kin, BGCFS will work within required timelines for the completion of these requirements retroactively. 

Question 4: Do these requirements apply in situations where a parent has arranged for the child to stay in the home of a friend or relative for just a few days?

No. These requirements apply only in situations where it has been determined that the child is in need of protection and cannot safely remain in the home of the parent or person who has charge of the child, and the kinship provider has been proposed in order to avoid an admission to BGCFS care.

Question 5:  Is there financial assistance available?

If a child is placed in a kin home through an order of the court, the care providers receive a daily reimbursement from BGCFS for the child’s care.  If the child goes to live with a kin family in an out-of-care arrangement, BGCFS will work with the family to access financial assistance from the child’s parents and/or through Ontario Works.  BGCFS may also assist with one-time costs, e.g. purchase of beds or equipment.