Currently the primary role of kinship services at Washington County Community Services is to conduct relative searches for children in need of out-of-home placement due to child protection or mental health needs. The Kinship Social Worker also supports relatives through the foster care licensing process and identifies family supports for parents working with child protective services. Kinship Support Services is also available for consultation with families providing informal care of a child they are related to.
In Minnesota, a “relative” means a person:
Who is related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption.
Who is the legal parent, guardian or custodian of the child’s sibling(s).
Or, who has lived with the child or had significant contact with the child (kin).
In some cases, relatives are also defined by tribal law or custom.