|Foster Care/Kinship Caretaker
"A placement service for at-risk, dependent children who have been removed from their biological parents and are in placement with extended family members"
Kinship parents must meet the same criteria for home approval as foster parents providing foster
family care. (See Foster Family Care)
Who is served?
Children placed in kinship care are in the legal custody of the Philadelphia Department of Human
Services (DHS) and range in age from infancy to 18 years of age. Children must be referred for
placement by DHS or have the approval of DHS.
Kinship care allows the child(ren) requiring placement services to live with family members while
receiving supportive counseling, case management services, socialization experiences, and life skills training. Health services, educational supports, and behavioral health services are coordinated as well
by the caseworker
or social worker assigned to work with the child and family.
CSI supports the strengthening of family bonds through working as a team member with the service
triad that includes the child, biological parents, and foster parents.
Foster Family Care (FFC)
"A placement service for dependent children who have been removed from their biological families for reasons of abuse and/or neglect"
The CSI foster family care experience is an opportunity for the child who cannot live in his or her bio-family to develop and sustain relationships with another family of nurturing adults who can provide the socialization, care, supervision, and stimulation needed for that child to continue to grow and mature.
Who is served?
Children between the ages of infancy and 18 years of age who have been adjudicated dependent for reasons of neglect and/or abuse are served in foster homes throughout Philadelphia city. All children in CSI foster family care are in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and all referrals to foster family care must come from DHS or be approved by DHS. Specially trained parents serve children with many special needs such as learning or behavioral problems.
How are Foster Parents Selected?
Foster parents are screened through a home study process that includes:
- Application - call 215-546-3503
- In-home interviews covering: reasons for wanting to be a foster parent; family background; employment and income; medical history; education; cultural/civic awareness and involvement; community and neighborhood assets
- Medical exam
- Criminal history and child abuse clearances for all adults in the home
- Initial training
Children receive case management and counseling from their assigned CSI social worker who also counsels the foster and biological parents, if available. Together, both sets of parents and the CSI
worker form a team to work toward the goals of placement: reunification with the biological family, placement with a relative, adoption, supervised independent living, or emancipation.
Family visits, socialization, supplemental services, including out-patient therapy, life skills training
and educational supports are provided as well.
Foster Parent Requirements:
- Be at least 25 years of age
- Pass an initial medical appraisal by a licensed physician prior to being approved. The appraisal must establish that you are physically able to care for children and do not have any communicable disease
- Complete a Child Abuse and Criminal History clearance
- Attend initial and annual training sessions. When caring for children with special needs, additional hours of training are required
- Meet regularly with the assigned social worker on a bi-weekly basis to discuss the child (ren)'s adjustment, development and service planning
- Support family contact between the child (ren) and parents or significant others
- Schedule and keep regular medical, therapeutic and other appointments as necessary and submit supporting documentation to the assigned social worker
- Maintain a stable home environment. No more than a total of six (6) foster and/or own children
under the age of 18 can live in the foster home at one time
- Follow the directives of the agency especially regarding state and DHS regulations and standards
- Participate as a member of a team with social worker and birth family members
The following steps must taken to be approved as a foster / kinship parent with CSI:
1. Attend orientation session
2. Have physical home inspection by agency worker
3. Complete Child Abuse & Criminal History Clearances
4. Complete two full-day and one half-day training sessions