Through permanency services, The Family Centre helps find safe and stable long term placements and develop relationships for displaced children and youth who are currently in government care. We believe children fare best when cared for by their family, whether it be immediate family, extended family, or individuals who have played a meaningful role in their lives. The supportive and loving atmosphere of a kinship home helps them build healthy self-esteem; meet their social, emotional, and physical needs; and see positive role models for values and behaviours. Our primary goal is almost always to work towards reuniting the child(ren) with their biological parents. When that’s not possible, we work towards other permanent options to increase stability and decrease trauma for the child(ren).
Through Safe Home Study Report (Safe HSR) and Kinship Care programs, we facilitate the transition from Child and Family Services to private guardians to create a long-term solution that is in the best interests of the child. Our support workers also help their new caregivers to adjust to their new living arrangements.
Who can access permanency services?
- We only support children and youth who been identified through Child and Family Services
- All referrals come through Edmonton and Area Child and Family Services Authority (Region 6), North Central and East Edmonton Neighbourhood Centres
- Kinship caregivers do not have to live in these geographical areas to access services
- They can be any relative or individual who has a longstanding and significant relationship with the child(ren), including a grandparent, aunt/uncle, sibling, or family friend
- Kinship caregivers may not be a biological parent or individual who has taken private guardianship of the child(ren)
How do these services work?
When someone applies to become a kinship caregiver, they must participate in a Safe HSR that considers demographic, relational, and financial information and helps determine how family dynamics, applicant history, and the physical environment will impact the safety and well-being of a child placed in the home.
After a kinship caregiver is identified, we help them understand, navigate, and meet the provincial requirements and standards. As these caregivers face unique challenges in caring for the child(ren), we provide ongoing support to help them adjust to the family system changes through in-person meetings and by connecting them to services and resources within The Family Centre and in the community. Frequency and duration of services are customized to meet the family’s individual needs.
In addition to providing an emotionally safe, warm and caring home, a kinship caregiver must meet the everyday responsibilities of a parent, including:
- Providing food and lodging
- Attending medical appointments and following through with medical recommendations
- Getting involved with their child’s education, school, and extra-curricular activities
- Other parental duties as required
If it’s not possible to return the child(ren) to their biological parents, kinship caregivers may apply to become private guardians or adoptive parents.
What is the difference between kinship caregiving and foster care?
- Kinship caregivers are family members or those with a significant relationship to the child, whereas foster parents have no previous relationship with the child.
- Kinship homes provide care for specific children and do not accept foster children.
- Kinship care homes are not licensed under the Social Family Facilities Licensing Act.
- A caregiver can either be a kinship caregiver or a foster parent, not both.
- While there are rules and requirements in place to make sure children are safe, the requirements are the same as for foster homes and adoptive homes.
How can I access these services?
Please contact the program manager Jennifer Hayes at:
How much does it cost?
- There is no cost to participating families
- Permanency services are funded by Edmonton Region Child and Family Services