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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: July 29, 2016
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04 Special Groups

Income Support Clients as Guardians

INTENT

To ensure the basic needs of children are met in households where Income Support (IS) clients may be caring for children who are unable to remain with their parent(s)/guardian(s).

To ensure a request for an investigation by a Child and Family Services Authority (CFSA) of Children and Youth Services is completed only if there is a question about the suitability of the placement.

POLICY

A child can be added to an active IS file when the child’s parents are unable or unwilling to properly care for their child, and the client/guardian is not receiving CFS (Child Financial Services) benefits.

The IS client/guardian chooses whether the child is added to the IS file or receives benefits under the CFS program of Children and Youth Services. The Community and Social Services worker informs the client/guardian of benefit differences between IS and CFS allowing them to decide which program would benefit them.

The client/guardian is expected to access all resources available to assist in the support of the child (such as the Canada Child Benefit).

A school age child is expected to be in full-time attendance in school.

Consent
Consent for a child to be added to an IS client/guardian’s file, is required from the legally responsible parent(s).

If the worker believes the child’s parent(s) has not provided consent, when they otherwise could have reasonably provided consent, or oppose the client/guardian being financially responsible for their child, IS benefits are not issued until a CFSA investigation has been completed and a recommendation is made.

Children and Youth Services Involvement
If the child has been placed in a protective situation by or has CS status (Temporary or Permanent Guardianship Order), benefits are not issued.

A child may be added to an active IS file if:

  • A CS investigation is pending or underway or
  • CS is only providing support services.

Guardianship
Guardians in receipt of IS are eligible for benefits for a child in their care if all other eligibility criteria are met.

A guardian of a child is not required to obtain legal guardianship of the child in their care in order to be eligible for IS benefits for the child.

If the IS worker has concerns regarding the appropriateness of a guardian, or the placement, the worker makes a referral to a CFSA for a recommendation.

Substantiation
IS clients are required to declare all children for whom they are financially responsible on their signed EMP 3428 Application for Income Support with the completed Schedule A – Child Support or on their monthly reporting.

The identity of the child is substantiated as outlined in policy.

PROCEDURES

The worker:

  1. Reviews the EMP 3428 Application for Income Support, the accompanying Schedule A – Child Support or monthly reporting.
  2. Asks the client:
    • If the parent(s) are aware and consent to the child being added to the client/guardian’s file
    • Reason(s) why the child is placed with IS client/guardian and cannot live with the parents
    • Anticipated duration of the placement with the client/guardian
    • Parent’s ability and willingness to pay child support
    • Resources available for the child (e.g. CPP Orphan’s Benefit, maintenance payments, or other responsible parent)
  3. Records the information in Mobius Notes.
  4. Advises the client/guardian to apply for the Canada Child Benefit on behalf of the child.
  5. Refers any child protection concerns to CS.
  6. Makes a referral to Child Support Services (CSS) through LISA.