All kinship/Foster caregiver homes must comply with PA 3700 regulations and receive ongoing certification and training through ASCI. ASCI tracks recertification on an annual basis for all caregivers to ensure homes are safe and adhere to all regulations. 

The CUA certification/compliance Program at A Second Chance, Inc., provides services to children in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who need a safe place to live and have kinship resources available to them. The program services the triad, consisting of the birth parents, children, and kinship caregiver. When kinship resources cannot be identified, traditional foster care can also be utilized to provide care for children. While receiving services from ASCI, our dedicated staff works to ensure that Adoption, Reunification, Permanent Legal Custody, and Independent Living goals are met for our children. Our Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Office have been extremely successful in ensuring permanency options for our children in partnership with the Statewide Adoption Network 

ASCI caseworkers must be equipped to assess all of the families with whom we work.  Therefore, our training provides practical experiences which foster competency in the issues regarding the child welfare system.  All caseworkers are trained in the areas of:

  • child development;
  • permanency planning;
  • issues of separation & loss;
  • behavior management;
  • human diversity; 
  • sensitivity to issues of ethnicity, race, socio-cultural and economic status.

Referrals to ASCI

ASCI has the capacity to receive both kinship and general foster care referrals at any time. The Central Referral Unit has the ability to contact our intake department at any point in time during normal business hours and our on-call staff after 4:30 and on weekends for assistance with placement. 

After receiving a kinship emergency referral, services commence with a kinship family assessment by ASCI within 24 – 48 hours followed by services to stabilize the new placement of the child and youth in their care. Efforts to begin certifying the home begin immediately after our intake visits. The purpose of KER is to model the integrated, holistic and culturally responsive case management services and supports of ASCI to address unique clinical issues and identify family-based strengths of kinship caregivers to ensure child safety, stabilize the relative placement and begin permanency planning. 

More specifically, ASCI conducts kinship emergency caregiver home inspections, processes criminal and child abuse clearances, provides immediate tangible needs for families and completes an emergency kinship family assessment with domains parallel to the home study required for Commonwealth approval as kinship parents.  Kinship parents are also required to complete 14 hours of S.A.R.K.S. (Standards for Assessing and Recognizing Kinship Strengths) training which consists of two full days which is used to provide a framework, resources, information and tools for kinship families caring for children and their parents. They also complete an autobiography and references which allows the case worker to understand more about the family. ASCI also completes a profile on the qualifications that the family has to be caregivers to the child(ren). This process generally takes around 60 days to complete.

More specifically, the following work is completed by ASCI to certify kinship homes:

  • 14 Hours of Enrichment Workshops for each Kinship Parent (SARKS)
  • Prudent Parents, CPSL and CPR/First Aid training
  • Kinship Strengths Assessment 
  • Criminal Clearance/Act 34 for every person in the household 14 years or older
  • Child Abuse/Act 33 Clearance (for every person in the household 14 years or older and every state resided in over the past 5 years)
  • FBI Clearances (for every person in the house over 18 years old)
  • Authorization & Disclosure Statements
  • Completed Medical Examinations (for every person in the house over 18 years old)
  • Department of Public Welfare Home Inspection
  • Completed Training Assignments: Autobiography is completed by the caregiver as well as references are completed by individuals who know the caregivers.
  • Family Profile is written by the ASCI caseworker
  • A home visit to the family by an ASCI case worker will occur within 1-2 business days of receiving the referral. Two home visits will occur within the first month of receiving the case and then another two home visits will occur during the second month of carrying the case. 

Once a kinship emergency response case is certified, CUA compliance services begin.