Your role and responsibilities as a kinship caregiver are very clear. As a kinship caregiver, you are expected to:
- Provide for the child’s basic needs, as well as any special needs the child may have by virtue of his or her experiences or his or her status as a kinship child.
- Plan to transport your kinship child to the
- Medical, dental, vision and any special therapy appointments.
- Visits with birth parents and siblings.
- To and from school and summer camp.
- Court hearings and Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF), Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Individual Service Plan (ISP) meetings.
- Keep a record of the child’s health care and educational progress and submit to the ASCI caseworker.
- Stay in contact with your ASCI caseworker regarding the overall adjustment of the kinship child in your home.
- Follow necessary behavioral management or discipline practices based on the child’s individual needs, even though such practices may be different from those you have used in the past. Of course, the agency should be informed immediately of any emergencies (see In Case of an Emergency page).
- Inform the agency immediately of any changes in
your own family situation. This would include:
- Changes in your housing, health, household income, marital status or marital stability.
- If any person is planning to move into or out of your home.
- Any criminal charges filed.
As a kinship caregiver, a major part of your role is to ensure day-to-day conditions that enable your kinship child to benefit from a safe and stimulating physical environment, good nutrition, adequate privacy and appropriate involvement with school and other community resources. In other words, kinship caregivers provide for the ongoing basic needs of a kinship child in their care.
Very often, however, kinship caregivers do much more. In cooperation with the child’s caseworker and other community services, caregivers are often called upon to implement individual plans of a therapeutic nature for the child. The above outlined responsibilities are a reflection of the fact that you are a valued and indispensable member of the kinship care team. Your time, observations, patience, and daily care and concern for your kinship child are the fundamental elements of a positive kinship care experience in your home.