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February 19 is Family Day

Family Day celebrates families and spending time with loved ones – enjoying a movie, spending time outdoors or playing games. But what about children who don’t have a safe place to call home?

When a child can no longer safely remain with parents or caregivers, Peel CAS looks for an alternative living arrangement. We identify people within a child’s extended family and community, such as friends or neighbours, and explore who can care for and nurture them. This is known as a kinship arrangement. In addition, the team also has two dedicated Family Finders who search for and identify family –parents, siblings, extended family or community members– who are willing to be permanent, lifelong connections for a child entering or in care.

“The benefits of a kinship arrangement are numerous,” says Susan Smith, Peel CAS’s Kinship Team Leader. “Kinship arrangements keep children in familiar environments with people they know and trust. They remain connected to their family, community, culture, and religion. They have a greater sense of belonging, and trauma of separation is significantly reduced.”

Kinship Services is a specialized service that focuses on kinship families and making them successful. We do this by:

  • Listening to the child’s voice and taking the child’s needs and strengths into account when considering prospective kin families
  • Searching for and engaging extended family and community members willing to be permanent, lifelong connections for a child
  • Assessing prospective and current kinship families
  • Advocating for kinship families to ensure they have appropriate community supports
  • Working together to support kin families while children remain in their care

 

“Kinship is an amazing program; our worker Stephanie was very helpful in explaining kinship to us and the process of obtaining custody. At first, my husband and I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but Stephanie quickly helped us to understand the kinship process, what was required of us and answered our questions.” ~ Anna 

Did you know?

  • In our last fiscal year, Peel CAS’s Kinship Team supported 254 children placed in caring, loving kin homes
  • Family Finding almost triples the number of connections for a child from the time of referral