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Kinship and Alternate Care

This guide is intended to offer resources, tools, and support to child welfare workers regarding family search and engagement, and kinship and alternate care, and offer resources for kinship/alternate caregivers.

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About this Guide

This guide intends to provide child welfare workers with resources, research, and tools to support family search, engagement with kinship connections and alternate caregivers, and kinship placements. Similarly, the guide offers resources and tools to kin and alternate caregivers to support them in their role of being a caregiver.


Family engagement, kinship networks, and lifelong connections for children and youth support their safety, well-being, and permanency. The involvement of kin early and throughout child welfare planning prevents placement disruptions and increases positive outcomes for children, youth, and families.

When children and youth are unable to remain in their homes, kinship and community-based placements are preferred. Kinship placements can involve biologically related kin, members of cultural communities, or individuals with other social, emotional, or community connections, such as teachers, coaches, or neighbours.

Children and youth can be placed with kin and community through a variety of placement options, including kin service (out of care), kinship care (licensed care), and customary care. Learn more about the various alternative care options including customary care and kinship care.


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