Want to Become a Kinship Resource?

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Interested in becoming a Kinship Resource?


Sometimes there are situations where children are temporarily not able to reside with his/her/their own parents. Our agency’s first priority is placing children with family members in order to keep the children with individuals they are familiar with. Kinship resources do not have to be biologically related to the child. If you decide you’d like to be a Kinship resource for a child or children there are two options in which to do so:


Option 1: Informal Kinship

                Informal Kinship is when temporary custody is transferred to the Kinship resource and the caregiver is then responsible for applying for benefits. When choosing Informal Kinship, you are not supported financially by Luzerne County Children and Youth and are fully responsible for the child financially. It should also be mentioned that although custody is temporarily transferred to a Kinship resource, the court is still the final decision maker in the child’s case. Informal Kinship providers need to provide safe and stable housing for the child(ren) and be able to financially support them.  


Option 2: Formal Kinship

                Formal Kinship is when custody of the child remains with Luzerne County Children and Youth and the Kinship resource becomes a Foster parent and is supported financially through the agency. Formal Kinship resources will be paid $24/day per child and the child’s medical, dental, and clothing needs are handled financially through the agency. In order to become a Formal Kinship resource you must meet the requirements of a Foster parent listed below:


Formal Kinship Resource:

  • May be single or married

  • Must be 21 years of age

  • Must have an income that is stable and sufficient to meet the family’s needs. All sources of income are considered.

  • Must submit to criminal history, child abuse clearance checks, and FBI clearances

  • Must agree to use NO corporal punishments

  • Must have a medical appraisal performed by a licensed physician to establish that you are [physically able to care for children

  • Supply several references

  • Complete an orientation program for new resource parents

  • Is a Mandated Reporter of Child Abuse once approved as a Formal Kinship Resource


Formal Kinship Resource Homes:

  • Must have adequate bathroom facilities, hot and cold running water, operable telephone, heating system, smoke detectors, and a portable fire extinguisher.

  • Must have suitable sleeping area for children and adequate space so that children of the opposite sex, who are more than five years old, do not have to share a bedroom. One mattress and linen per child.

  • Cannot serve as a residence for more than six children (including foster children) who are under the age of 18.

  • SWAN (Statewide Adoption Network) will conduct the home evaluations and decide if they are suitable and meet the standards.


Common Questions about Kinship Care:


I’m not sure if I should pursue Formal or Informal Kinship, what should I do?
It would be in your best interest to contact the Kinship Care Unit who would be able to further explain your options and find what is best suited for your unique situation. 570-826-8710
I have a history with Children and Youth, can I still be a Kinship resource for a child I know?
This is based on a case by case basis. You are not automatically disqualified with a past Children and Youth history.
I am not blood related to the child but would like to be a Kinship resource for her/him/they. Is this possible?
Yes, Kinship resources do not have to be blood related.
Once I choose either Informal or Formal Kinship, can I switch my decision?
No, once you choose either Informal or Formal, there is no option to switch. This is why it is important to know all of your options.
How can I start the process of becoming a Kinship resource for a child?
You can either contact the caseworker that is working with the family that placed the child into out of home placement or contact the Kinship Unit at 570-826-8710




                If you are trying to care for a child who is in the custody of another state, you must become a Formal Kinship caregiver. You will then be designated an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) worker. Once Luzerne County Children and Youth approves you as a Formal Kinship caregiver, it is then up to the state where the child is located to either place/or not place the child with you.



Resource for Kinship Providers:


NEPA Intergenerational Coalition (Support Groups, Information, AARP Grandparents raising grandchildren info)



Mandated Reporter Training:



Child Abuse Clearance:



PA State Police Clearance:



Last Updated: 11/03/16 13:18:25
Children and Youth Services
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