Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 21: Resource Family Development, Support, and Retention

The organization promotes resource family development and retention by collaborating with resource families to identify and provide the support needed to ensure that children receive safe, consistent, and nurturing care.
2020 Edition




Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • A calendar or listing of peer support, recreational, or social activities
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Procedures for annual mutual reviews
  • Copy of tool(s) for kinship caregiver assessments
  • Documentation of attendance at peer support opportunities
  • Informational materials on community resources provided to resource parents, including any specific materials for kinship caregivers
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Aggregate resource family retention data for the previous 12 months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Resource parents
  • Review resource parent records
  • Review case records

CA-FKC 21.01

The organization facilitates networking and mutual support among resource parents by providing:
  1. regular, inviting, and accessible opportunities for peer support; and
  2. recreational and social activities.


Kinship care programs should offer activities more regularly if these activities are a fundamental component of the services they offer kinship families, such as if recreational activities function as a form of respite for kinship caregivers.
Examples: Opportunities for support can include regular meetings in which resource parents can share concerns and discuss strategies for managing their role, and/or social events that bring resource families together and give them the chance to get to know each other better. Organizations can work with resource parents to determine how to make peer support opportunities more accessible such as by offering food or childcare.

Organizations can also offer opportunities tailored to meet the different needs of the different groups of resource parents they work with. For example, LGBTQ resource parents may wish to meet with other LGBTQ families, kinship caregivers may benefit from sharing experiences with other kinship caregivers, and prospective resource parents who have not yet been matched with a child may wish to meet others who are also awaiting placement. 

CA-FKC 21.02

Resource families receive assistance to identify and access any services needed to improve family functioning and prevent and reduce stress and family crisis including: 
  1. child care; 
  2. counselling, including any services and supports needed to address family relationships; 
  3. respite care;
  4. transportation;
  5. peer support opportunities outside of the organization; 
  6. cultural, recreational, and social activities outside of the organization; and.
  7. informal resources that can offer support.


Regarding element (c), respite care options should be reviewed with resource parents prior to a child joining the family, and on a regular basis.
Examples: Informal resources that can offer support include: extended family, friends, and neighbors; members of religious, and spiritual communities; local businesses or other community agencies; and other resource parents.  As appropriate to each family’s situation and in line with requirements for ensuring safety, the family and resource family can collaboratively or individually identify informal resources to help care for children and/or provide other types of support. This type of support may be included in service plans to ensure appropriate communication.

CA-FKC 21.03

Resource families participate in an annual mutual review to identify areas of strength and concern, and develop plans for needed support and training.


Unlicensed kinship caregivers are not required to participate in the mutual review, and this standard will not be applicable when a resource family has not yet been matched with a child.
NA The organization provides kinship care services only.
Examples: The annual re-assessment conducted as part of the home recertification process may be used to demonstrate implementation of this standard. 

However, the mutual review should not be conducted by a licensing worker as an isolated occurrence – in contrast, it should ideally be conducted in collaboration with the child welfare caseworker, and include a review of information and issues that arose throughout the year. 

CA-FKC 21.04

Kinship caregivers participate in an assessment of strengths and needs, and are helped to obtain any needed services and supports, related to the following areas:
  1. financial assistance, including any specialized financial supports available to kinship caregivers; 
  2. legal services; 
  3. housing assistance and resources needed to provide a safe home environment; 
  4. food and clothing; 
  5. physical and mental health care; and 
  6. supportive services, including in-home supports.


The assessment of strengths and needs should include attention to kinship caregivers’ satisfaction and recommendations, as well as any discrimination they may face in their role. 
NA The organization provides Foster Care Home Services only, and does not work with kinship caregivers.

CA-FKC 21.05

The organization promotes resource family retention by:
  1. providing resource families who have not yet been matched with a child ongoing information and support while they wait; 
  2. conducting exit interviews with resource families who leave the organization to determine why they left; and
  3. annually evaluating retention data to determine what strategies/practices work well, and what strategies/practices may need to be modified or eliminated.
NA The organization provides kinship care services only.