Kinship Care is temporary or permanent care provided to children by relatives or close family friends (“fictive kin”). Relatives are frequently the preferred resource for children in foster care because they help maintain a child’s connection to family and community.
If the Minister has made a finding that the well-being of a child or youth is in danger and a plan for the child or youth is established that does not include placing the child or youth as a child or youth under the Minister’s care, the child or youth may receive kinship services in the home of a kinship caregiver if, in the opinion of the Minister, the kinship caregiver is capable of providing for the child or youth in accordance with standards established by the Minister or prescribed by regulation. The Minister may enter into an agreement with a kinship caregiver who meets the conditions prescribed by regulation to provide support to the kinship caregiver, if support is required to provide for the basic or exceptional needs of the child or youth, in the opinion of the Minister.
Kinship Care Model: Kinship care is a model based on a child or youth’s need and right to remain connected to family or community and to maintain the relationships they have already established. When a child or youth must be removed from the parental home, a kinship care provider, who has an existing relationship with them, is often a better and less disruptive option for the child or youth compared to someone outside of their extended family or social network. The Department is designing services to help set kin caregivers up for success so that children and youth have the best chance to thrive, within the connection of family and their community.
A Four-Part video series on the unique challenges of kinship care
Research shows when children and youth live with extended family or adults with whom they have an established relationship, they have better outcomes in school, employment, mental health and overall compared to those who are cared for by people unknown to them.