What is Kinship?

Kinship Service refers to the care of children by relatives or other family members or people who are familiar to the child to provide a safe, nurturing home.


Wanting to care for a child you know who needs a safe place to stay is a very generous gift. There are some important things to think about when you make the decision to become a Kinship Service caregiver.

  • Am I ready and willing to change my role in the child’s life and be a “parent” to the child for as long as he or she needs me?
  • How will that change my relationship with the child?  With the child’s parents?
  • How do I feel about the child’s parents right now?  Can I supervise contact between the parents and the child?
  • Can I add this child to my family and still afford what my family needs?
  • Am I willing to go to therapy with the child or other services the child needs?
  • Am I okay with getting involved in the child’s court case?
  • If the child is not able to return home, would I consider legal custody or adoption?

If you have thought about these things and are ready to apply, please contact an Initial Assessment Worker at 519-252-1171  

When parents make the changes that are needed to keep their children safe and well cared for, we hope that you will continue to be a support to the family. The safe, loving and stable family life you have provided will be a lifelong gift that you have given that child and that family.

Kinship does not have to mean a full-time placement, as children need connections with family. You can stay connected in different ways such as:

  • Going to watch their sporting events or taking them to their music lessons
  • Going out for a meal
  • Taking the child for a weekend visit
  • Spend time together during holidays
  • Sending birthday cards
  • Phone calls or text messages
The Kinship Assessment

To be sure that your home is a safe place for the child to be, a Kinship Assessment Worker will meet with you. The worker will look at the safety of your home as well as your ability to meet the child’s needs.

The Kinship Assessment includes a Home Safety Checklist and interviews. During the interviews, you will talk about things like: your relationship to the child and parents, the child’s needs, your health and family history, any trouble with the law or problems keeping children safe in the past, your ability to add this child to your family and still give your family what they need.

Other documents

Each person living in your home who is 18 years old or older must have two checks.

1. Police Record Check For Service with the Vulnerable Sector – This is a special check that is used when people want to work with children.

2. Child Welfare Record Check – This lets your worker check to see if you have been involved with a Children’s Aid Society before in other areas where you have lived.


We do not reimburse Kinship Service families to care for children, but you can look here for help: