Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Kith and Kin Arrangement Definition:

An agreement between a child protection worker and a member of the child’s extended family or other person known to the child, to care for and financially support the child.

Kith and kin agreements or arrangements are almost often in writing given the legal consequences to the child and the person who will be standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent).

Kith refers to an acquaintance of the child's natural family and kin, to the child's immediate family, kinship or a relative.

The custody and guardianship is transferred to an extended family member such as an aunt or grand-mother/grand-father (kin) or even to a neighbour of parents of the child's best friend (kith). Many permutations are possible, as long as the kith or kin proposed is a competent parent in her/his own right, and is known to the child.

A kith and kin arrangements implies the permanent or temporary inability of the natural parents to fully care for the child, sometimes for innocuous reasons such as daycare or temporary employment absence.

Lex ReynoldsUsually, a kith and kin arrangements is temporary, allowing the natural parents to re-arrange their lives to address child safety and protection concerns and to properly accommodate and care for the child.

During the kith and kin agreement, the child is usually removed from the legal care and control of the government. The natural parent consents to this arrangement and may be involved in the child’s care plan. Typically, the natural parent exercises access during the duration of the kith and kin arrangement.

Thus, most kith and kin arrangements do not involve social workers or child protection officers or the courts and are informal such as, for example, day care.

May also be referred to as kinship care.


This definition is dedicated to the memory of Lex Reynolds (pictured), an extraordinary family law lawyer, fierce child advocate and good friend who was suddenly taken from us, at the age of 54, in May of 2009, and who I will miss forever.

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