The child`s parents sign an agreement with the family and children`s services, in which the child is responsible for a care service for the next of kin for a certain period of time. The child`s parents, caregivers and workers will meet to discuss each other`s responsibility. The child`s parents have the right to make decisions about school care and medical care. Kinship and Family Care are programs that allow children and youth to care for people they know, usually members of their extended family or community support groups. The decision to organize a kinship service instead of kinship care is generally motivated by the child`s protection needs. The main difference between these two programs is that a child or adolescent in the care of a kinship caregiver is not considered to be under the tutelage of the CAS. A family service family participates in a screening assessment that examines the family`s ability to meet the child`s safety and well-being. A family of kinship services can receive financial assistance from various government assistance programs in Ontario. A family caregiver is a caregiver who, like a licensed nurse, must participate in a pre-compulsory pre-service training program in the province and participate in a home study. Kinship foster families receive the same financial and emotional support from a CAS as host families.
Two young boys hit a worn football against the side of the house. They are so similar in appearance that they could be twins. The two stop for a moment and look at the social worker as she gets out of her car. As she approaches and says hello, a boy says, “When does the baby arrive? Do you have it now? Catherine Crea is a co-evaluation employee of the Kinship program at the Children`s Aid Society of Toronto. This program actively seeks out potential family members and assesses their ability to be caregivers for children in care. The program is based on the belief that a family member who understands the child`s history, community or culture may be able to provide comfort and safety to children who cannot live safely with their parents. “It`s something that makes so much sense to me. This direction of service is now supported by legislative changes. These changes require a close look at family opportunities to care for a vulnerable child in the early stages of court proceedings,” explains Catherine Crea, Kinship Assessment Worker. “Another important development is the extension of the definition of family to a family friend or member of the children`s community.” A kinship placement requires a thorough assessment and the safety and protection of the child are essential to our decision-making. The child is not only placed with a family member.
Police checks, security checks and ensuring that a caregiver is both emotionally and physically prepared to care for the child are part of the assessment. It`s evening and Catherine does a first interview for a kinship internship. It will assess the suitability of the potential family member and determine whether this potential caregiver can meet the baby`s needs. She doesn`t see a lot of difficulties; This grandmother has taken care of her first grandson since he was a baby. It`s later, and the two boys realized the baby wouldn`t be coming tonight. But they show no lack of energy when Amelia, the boy`s grandmother, patiently answers Catherine`s questions and orders the boys to prepare for bed. Catherine takes the time to go through the questionnaire and write down Amelia`s answers. When Catherine asks why she wants to take responsibility for caring for her granddaughter, having already taken care of three of her own children and a grandson, a confused look crosses Amelia`s face.