Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions believes in the benefits of children who are in need of protection being placed in the care of family members and significant others whenever appropriate. They can offer a stronger sense of belonging and stability; can maintain cultural and community ties and can buffer some of the impact on the children away from their parents.
The Ontario government has developed legislation to assess and formalize kinship arrangements for children who are in need of protection. In situations where it is likely a child will be admitted to foster care, finding a safe, nurturing living arrangement for the child with a relative or other significant person is given priority.
Kinship caregivers are unique caregivers; in recognition of these unique circumstances, benefits and challenges SMFC provides specialized services through our Kinship Team. Specialized services are available to Kinship families and children of First Nations families who enter Customary Care arrangements.
Although the child is not in the formal care of SMFC, we continue to work with the family. The child is placed with a member of his or her extended family or with a community member known to the child. The goal of kinship service arrangements may be reunification of the child with his or her family and/or a permanent home with an extended family member through legal custody.
We do not provide ongoing financial support in this situation, however, the extended family or community member may be eligible for Temporary Care Assistance through Ontario Works, which may include prescription drugs, dental and vision care, back-to-school and winter clothing allowance, and episodic financial support from SMFC.