The Importance of Keeping Children with Relatives or Non-related Caregivers
Children and teens can enter foster care for a number of reasons. When this happens, government and child welfare agencies work together to find the safest and best home for them. A relative or someone the child already knows is always the first option agencies seek out since children deserve to be be in the least restrictive environment with people they are familiar with.
If relatives aren’t available when a child enters foster care, social workers will reach out to teachers, neighbors, family friends – someone who the child knows and is comfortable with. Studies show that kinship caregivers are frequently able to care for these youth during times of struggle. This is also helpful in alleviating the amount of trauma youth go through after being separated from their parents.
How Does the Process Work?
In Kansas, when a court decides that a child should not remain in the parents’ home, a KVC Case Worker makes a referral for kinship placement. Following this, a Kinship Care Coordinator contacts all relatives or acquaintances and sets up interviews. The interviews take place in the potential caregiver’s home and consists of a series of questions and some paperwork to be completed. Helpful resources are then given for reference, as well as basic first-aid information.
The caregiver must then pass a background check, a home inspection and complete all the requirements given by the Kinship Coordinator.
What Support Do Kinship Caregivers Receive?
Kinship caregivers sometimes receive monthly financial assistance towards the cost of providing care for the child. KVC provides information on support group meetings, which have shown to be very effective. Read an example here. KVC supplies resources to help with the child’s medical, educational and emotional needs. Also, kinship caregivers are eligible for daycare assistance and receive support from KVC staff who are on-call 24/7.
Have questions on kinship placement? Give us a call at (913) 499-8100.