The first priority of Child and Family Services is to maintain children at home with their family, if they can safely do so. If a child cannot safely remain at home, the next best option is placement in the home of someone familiar – a kinship caregiver. Kinship caregivers are preferred placements for children due to their knowledge of and relationship with the family and the child. Because of their personal attachment to the child, kinship caregivers are generally willing to provide a permanent home for children who are unable to return home.
When kinship caregivers are identified, Child and Family Services will conduct an assessment to determine the ability and willingness of the kinship caregivers to promote safety, well-being, stability, and permanency for the child. When children are placed with a kinship caregiver, the relative can become a licensed foster care provider in order to get extra supports and services, while custody of the children remains with Child and Family Services. Custody can also be given to the relative, with the court often ordering In-Home Services be provided by Child and Family Services. We encourage kinship caregivers to become licensed foster parents so they will have the extra supports they need as they begin to care for the child.