What is Kinship Care?
Throughout many generations, extended families have played a significant role in helping with the raising of children when children’s parents are going through a difficult time. Relatives and other people who the children or family have a significant relationship with can often provide children with stability and permanency when the children can’t live with their birth parents, this involvement and type of support when provided by a relative or member of the extended family is called Kinship Care.
IES Children and Family Services, Inc. recognizes this struggle and admires the choice to care for a family member or friend’s children. Our agency will evaluate Kinship Placements and assist families that are interested, through the process of becoming licensed and trained. Our agency is acquainted with the challenges families can face throughout the verification process and can provide support to help the Kinship placement work positively for everyone.
What Are the Benefits of Kinship Care?
- Provides love and care in a familiar setting;
- Provides parents with a sense of hope that children will remain connected to their birth families;
- Enables children to live with people they know and trust;
- Reinforces a child’s sense of cultural identity and positive self-esteem;
- Helps a child make and sustain extended family connections;
- Continues lifelong family traditions and memories;
- Supports the child in building healthy relationships within the family;
- Supports the child’s need for safety and well-being; and
- Creates a sense of stability in the life of a child.
Different Types of Kinship Care
There are different types of assistance available to Kinship Caregivers while children are placed in their homes that provide financial assistance and other meaningful support services to care for the children, but most importantly, it keeps the family intact and significantly reduces the trauma children experience by being separated from their parents, home and loved ones.
Adding an additional child or children to a family can be challenging and costly. Additional clothing, food costs, utilities, medical care and therapy supports for traumatized children can place a strain on families who choose to open their hearts and homes to kin.
Informal Kinship includes an open-ended agreement with a kinship family that is non-binding, while Child Protective Services (CPS) retains legal responsibility for the children. The home is assessed for safety and stability and some support services and limited financial assistance is provided to the Kinship caregiver(s) directly from CPS.
IES Children and Family Services is knowledgeable in the process of verification of homes and will assist interested families in kinship care so that they can provide a more formal type of Kinship care while children are in their care. Through Formal Kinship, families can choose to become verified foster parents. Benefits of this program include regular financial reimbursement to help cover the costs of caring for these children, training and support services, Medicaid benefits for the children and guidance and therapy for families and children.
Formal Kinship Families can be provided:
- Case Management Services
- Specialized Training
- Individual & Group Therapy
- Crisis Management