Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 9: Services for Parents

Parents receive individualized services and supports that address their needs, increase their capacities for effective parenting, and assist them in preparing for reunification or facilitating other permanency options for their children.
NA The organization, by virtue of law or contract, does not serve parents, or the organization only serves children who are legally free for adoption. 
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: FAMILY FOSTER CARE AND KINSHIP CARE (CA-FKC)

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Purpose

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.
1
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.
2
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.
3
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. 
4
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
  • Procedures for promoting collaboration between parents and resource families
  • Procedures for referring parents to core services ​​​​​​
  • Contracts or service agreements with community providers for the provision of services to parents
  • Informational materials provided to parents
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
    4. Resource parents
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

CA-FKC 9.01

The organization minimizes the negative effects of separation and promotes families’ commitment to services by:
  1. explaining the rights and responsibilities of resource families; 
  2. providing clear, transparent, and comprehensible information that enables family members, according to their abilities, to understand the organization’s role, processes, concerns, and expectations, including potential ramifications of not participating in services;
  3. explaining how service plans will be implemented to ensure involvement and contact with their children, and communication with the organization and the resource family; 
  4. valuing family members’ input and perspectives regarding their experiences, strengths, risks, and needs; and
  5. offering choices that respect the role of parents in the lives of their children and help family members retain a sense of control.

Interpretation

The organization should assume the presence of trauma, and adopt a trauma-sensitive approach to engagement. Workers should: be aware that involvement with the child welfare system can be a trauma reminder; recognize that challenging behaviours such as anger, apathy, or non-compliance may actually be a defensive or protective reaction to the involvement of the child welfare system; and ensure that interactions with parents are sensitive and responsive to any history of trauma.

CA-FKC 9.02

Parents are connected to culturally-relevant services directly or through referral, that help them meet their needs and reunify and stabilize their families, including: 
  1. child care;  
  2. housing referral and assistance;
  3. public benefits and income support, including any assistance needed to obtain food, clothing, and utility services;
  4. home care and support services, including household management and home health aide services; 
  5. medical and dental care; 
  6. respite care; 
  7. transportation services; and
  8. vocational and educational assistance.

Fundamental Practice

CA-FKC 9.03

Families receive intensive services, as needed, from domestic violence, mental health, and substance use treatment specialists.  

CA-FKC 9.04

Service interventions are designed to help parents:
  1. evaluate the impact of their past experiences on current functioning and parenting practices; 
  2. target situations that pose challenges for the family;
  3. develop and strengthen the skills they need to manage challenging situations; 
  4. strengthen and repair parent-child relationships, as needed; and
  5. access trauma-informed services.

Interpretation

Parents involved with the child welfare system due to family conflict or rejection related to their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity should be connected to counselling and educational resources that will help them to develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage the conflict, accept and support the child, understand and meet the needs of their child, and rebuild the parent-child relationship.
Examples: Interventions may target skills and strategies needed to:
  1. express and regulate emotions;
  2. control impulses;   
  3. cope with stress and adversity;
  4. communicate effectively;
  5. make decisions;
  6. resolve conflicts and solve problems;
  7. identify, seek, and access needed services and supports;
  8. identify, anticipate, and manage their responses to trauma reminders;
  9. increase awareness and mindfulness;
  10. engage in effective self-care; and
  11. manage a home and budget.
Examples: The Solution Based Casework model emphasizes the importance of helping families build the skills they need to handle the everyday tasks that result in threats to safety and well-being, from supervising young children, to keeping the home clean and safe, to controlling anger or substance use. Caseworkers partner with parents to identify the situations that pose challenges for the family, develop specific plans of action for dealing with those challenges in ways that reduce risk and promote safety, and celebrate the behavioural changes that occur.

CA-FKC 9.05

Parent education and support services promote development of the knowledge and skills needed to:
  1. understand the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children, as well as factors and conditions that can promote or impede healthy development;
  2. provide nurturing care that promotes secure attachment and healthy development;
  3. provide appropriate supervision and monitoring;
  4. develop appropriate expectations regarding, and techniques for managing, children’s behaviour;
  5. maintain a safe home environment; and
  6. meet any special needs that children may present.
Examples: Constructive family time can provide an important opportunity for practicing newly learned skills and improving parenting abilities.

CA-FKC 9.06

In an effort to build strong and healthy family support networks, parents are helped to:
  1. identify current sources of support;
  2. develop plans for managing any negative influences in their networks; and
  3. explore how they might expand their social support networks, if necessary.
Examples: Extended family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members may help to provide the ongoing support a family will need over time. Efforts to help parents strengthen their support networks may overlap with efforts undertaken during assessment or service planning to develop a family “team”.

CA-FKC 9.07

Resource families maintain connections with parents to mutually share information about their children and support parents' involvement in their children’s care, unless contraindicated.

Interpretation

It is particularly important that resource families maintain regular communication with the parents of infants and toddlers, who may be unable to express their needs, in order to best meet the needs and keep the parents abreast of changes during this period of rapid child development.