There are two kinship programs available through the Children's Aid Society of St. Thomas and Elgin - Kinship Service and Kinship Care. Both programs are designed to allow children to be placed in the care of people they know, often members of their extended family and/or other members of the child's community support group - someone the child is familiar with. Kinship options are always explored for children who are in need of protection, prior to having a child placed in foster or group care situations.
Kinship Services (out of care)
Kinship Service is typically the first and least intrusive option for children deemed "in need of protection"; children who are no longer able to reside in their biological family home due to safety concerns. Kinship Service is different from Kinship Care in that the child is not brought into the care of the Society as a "child in care". Kinship Service is considered a less intrusive measure because it does not require a child to be brought into the care of the Society - which is generally a better option for children and families.
When the custodial caregivers of a child - typically their biological parent(s) - are having problems and cannot safely care for a child, it can be extremely difficult for that child to be placed in foster care. Despite the safety and excellent care they receive in a foster home, the placement is still with people who are strangers to the child. Living with kin - people the child is comfortable and connected with - can make this difficult time easier for a child. You can read on to find out more information about how you can help a child you know who is in this situation.
Kinship Services - How can I help?
There may be a time when a child that is close to you or related to you needs a home because the regular caregivers cannot care for that child safely and adequately in the family home. If you have been asked to take a child who you know into your home, a Kinship Services Worker will get in touch with you and begin a process of assessing whether your home environment and the people living in it can provide safe and competent care to a child in need of protection.
No one has contacted me but I think I can help!
If you believe there is a situation where you could help as a kinship caregiver, please call the CAS at 519-631-1492 or 1-800-260-6960 and a