Becoming a Kinship Caregiver
Who can be a kinship caregiver?
Kinship caregivers are family members or those with a significant relationship to the child. Kinship caregivers may not be the biological parents or any person whom has taken private guardianship of the child.
Kinship homes provide care for a specific child and do not accept other children as foster children.
Financial supports are available to help a kinship caregiver with initial set-up costs to provide for a child coming into their home.
Kinship caregivers are men or women who are at least 18 years old who are related to or have a significant relationship to the child. They can be married, single, divorced or widowed, and come from all cultural backgrounds. They may rent or own their own home, be retired or employed outside the home.
If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to become a child’s kinship caregiver:
- You must be a resident of Alberta.
- You must be at least 18 years old. The maximum age will be determined by the best interests of the child.
- Any adult, regardless of marital status, can be eligible to be a kinship caregiver. Cohabitating applicants must be in a stable relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying.
- You must be physically and mentally capable of meeting the child's needs with no major illness or trauma in the past 12 months.
- Applicants must be financially stable and living within their means.
Prior to placing a child with a kinship caregiver an initial screening that includes a criminal record check, a child intervention check and a home safety check must be completed. Once these initial checks are done, a child may be placed with the caregiver on the condition that the full application process is satisfactorily completed.
The child’s caseworker will help the applicant complete the application process which consists of:
- three personal references
- medical reference
- criminal record check
- child intervention record check
Attendance at Orientation to Caregiver Training consisting of eight, three-hour training sessions. These classes will give you an overview of what to expect when caring for a child, such as child development, special needs of children in care and supports provided to kinship care providers.
Completion of an approved home study. The home study determines if the applicant can provide a safe and suitable home for children and addresses a variety of topics such as family history, parenting skills and home safety.