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 per 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
- Complete an orientation program for new resource parents
- Is a Mandated Reporter of Child Abuse once approved as a Formal Kinship Resource
- May be single or married
- Must agree to use no corporal punishments
- 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 have a medical appraisal performed by a licensed physician to establish that you are physically able to care for children
- Must submit to criminal history, child abuse clearance checks, and FBI clearances
- Supply several references
Formal Kinship Resource Homes
- Cannot serve as a residence for more than six children (including foster children) who are under the age of 18.
- 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.
- SWAN (Statewide Adoption Network) will conduct the home evaluations and decide if they are suitable and meet the standards.
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.
Notice of Nondiscrimination Policy
Luzerne County Children and Youth Services complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
- I’m not sure if I should pursue Formal or Informal Kinship. What should I do?
- I have a history with Children and Youth. Can I still be a Kinship resource for a child I know?
- I am not blood related to the child but would like to be a Kinship resource for her/him/they. Is this possible?
- Once I choose either Informal or Formal Kinship, can I switch my decision?
- How can I start the process of becoming a Kinship resource for a child?