The number of children of Indigenous origin who, due to child protection concerns, need to be housed by alternative caregivers far exceeds the number of alternative Indigenous retirement homes licensed. While children`s aid organizations do not provide ongoing financial support in kinship situations, the extended family or community member may be eligible for temporary assistance through Ontario Works, which may include prescription drugs, dental and vision care, school supplies and winter clothing, and episodic assistance from the Child Protection Agency. The support of municipalities and legal services for relatives varies widely. A good starting point is here, or you can contact our consulting service on 0300 123 7015 to find out what might be available in your situation. Young people in care who do not have an established relationship with their family of origin often try to re-establish their relationship with their parents and siblings as soon as they leave care. There are many different types of kinship care, and if you are a caregiver, you may find that with changing circumstances the type of kinship care, also changes. Kinship care includes children who can be: Kinship care is if a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or friend who is not their parents, normally because their parents are not able to care for them. This relative or friend is called a “family guardian,” and it is estimated that about half of family caregivers are grandparents, but many other relatives, including older siblings, aunts, uncles, family friends, and neighbors, can also be family caregivers. In some cases, a customary custody agreement may include a non-Indigenous family that the group considers to be able to care for the child in accordance with its practices. In 2016-2017, 422 child and youth care contracts were concluded. Read more in our brochures “A Guide for Adoptive Parents Considering Legal Custody of a Child or Youth under Crown Guardianship” and “Adoption in Ontario: Private, Public and Inter-Country.” READ: Friends and Family First: How Child Welfare Prevents Children from Caring One of the main supports provided by CASS to support the transition to independence is the Youth Care and Support Maintenance Policy (CCSY).
CCYS provides financial, emotional and other support to youth who have left care up to the age of 21. The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services recently announced another option under the CCSY directive, called the Stay Home for School Agreement. This Directive helps young people to live with their host families after the end of their 18th year of life until the end of their studies. .