Kinship Family Research

Kinship Care Families in BC

Are you a grandparent raising a grandchild or other kinship caregiver. (Someone raising the child or children of a relative or close friend because their parents are unable?)

If you are, we invite you to participate in this research being conducted by Parent Support Services Society of BC (PSS) and the University of Northern BC (UNBC).

We want to learn from you!

At PSS we provide support to Kinship Caregivers like yourself. The goal of the research is to better understand your needs so that we can better advocate with and for you.

More than a Survey

We are also conducting focus groups (discussions) with grandparents and other kinship caregivers.

Upcoming Focus Groups: Transportation subsidies, & refreshments available

The Survey

We will be completing our survey phase this month. The first 100 Kinship Caregivers who complete the survey will be sent a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card to thank you for your time.

How can you do the Survey?

  1. over the phone, call our Provincial office at 1-877-345-9777 ext 111,  or email us at to arrange to do the survey,
  2. or download it, fill it in, save it and email it back to us, or print it and mail it back to 204-5623 Imperial St, Burnaby BC V5J 1G1,
  3. or you can ask us to send you a copy of the survey in the mail (we will include a stamped, self-addressed envelope).

We are also doing interviews, and more!

PSS works hard to make sure kinship care voices are heard.
Your input is important – together we can make change happen.

Who is conducting this study?

Faculty Investigator:
Susan Burke – UNBC School of Social Work
ph. 250-960-6620, email:

Jane Bouey – Project Manager, Parent Support Services of BC.
ph. 604-669-1616, ext. 110, email:

Carol Madsen – Executive Director, Parent Support Services of BC
ph. 604-669-1616, ext. 102, email:

Louise Costello – Board of Directors, Parent Support Services Society of BC

Glen Schmidt – UNBC School of Social Work

What if you are not a kinship caregiver?

If you are not providing Kinship Care but you know someone who is, please pass this information along. If you know Kinship Care providers who did not get this invitation, please ask them to call us toll free 1-877-345-9777 ext.111. We want to hear from everyone!

We will be doing interviews with people who work with kinship families as well. If you are interested in this, please contact us at the above numbers.

Participation in this project is entirely voluntary and will have no impact whatsoever on the services you currently receive or you’re entitled to receive from PSS;
You can choose to skip any questions you do not wish to answer.

Your confidentiality will be protected:

Your confidentiality will be maintained wherever possible. If you choose to complete the survey on your own, we will ask you to only put your contact information on the last page of the survey, which will be removed from the rest of the survey once we receive it. If you participate in a focus group, similar steps will be taken to protect confidentiality.

If you choose to be interviewed or get help with the survey, the interviewer will know your name, but will only record it on the last page of the survey and that page will be separated from the survey as soon as the interview is complete. Your contact information will only be used to follow up with you after the interview to see if you need some support and to send you a small gift card to thank you for your participation. All scheduling records will be destroyed. All interviewers will sign confidentiality agreements. Even if you mistakenly reveal your identity, careful steps will be taken to protect your identity.

A special note about interviews:

If you complete this survey with an interviewer (who will know your name while talking to you), he or she will advise you in advance that the research interview is not the place to report any active safety concerns you may have for a child. If you describe a current situation that puts a child at risk, and that situation has not previously been reported, the interviewer is required by law to report it to the appropriate authority. The interviewer will also be required to make a report if you disclose something that suggests you may pose a risk to yourself or others. These are the two exceptions to protection of your confidentiality.

How this research might benefit you:

The goal of this research is to directly inform social policy and practice changes and legal reform for kinship caregivers. We hope that by giving you the opportunity to share your experiences, we are also giving you the chance to guide these changes. We also hope you will benefit from the experience of sharing your story.

Who is funding this study:

This research is being partially funded by The Permanency and Adoption Fund of the Victoria Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation, Parent Support Services Society of BC, and the Law Foundation of BC.

What are the risks to you?

Your experience with Kinship Care is a very personal matter.

This survey is long and asks questions that may be difficult to discuss. You will be asked to share some information that most people consider private. You will be asked questions about yourself and everybody living in your house. There will be questions about the children’s needs and the stresses and rewards you may experience as a Kinship Caregiver. There will also be questions about your financial circumstances. Although we will do our best to protect your confidentiality, there is always a risk that someone will find out what you shared with us. You might also feel upset after talking about this information.

Some final words to all survey participants:

You may find thinking about some parts of your family’s story somewhat upsetting. If you become distressed while completing the survey, stop, and consider contacting supportive friends, family, or local community resources. The PSS website can direct you to some local resources. You can also contact:

    • PSS kinship care support line at 1-855-474-9777, email
    • ( | Call or Text: 211) Visit the website – they can refer you to local help
    • VictimLink – 1-800-563-0808 24hr help and information line
    • Crisis Centre BC – 1-866-661-3311 TTY: 1-866-872-0113
    • Northern BC 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-888-562.1214
    • Senior’s Distress – 604-872-1234
    • KUU-US 24 Hour Provincial Aboriginal Crisis Line – 1-800-588-8717

In case of an emergency call 911.

Any concerns or complaints?

If you have any concerns or complaints about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, contact the UNBC Office of Research at 250 960 6735 or by e-mail at

Please Download the Survey Here:

Kinship Care Survey

Call 1-877-345-9777 Ext 111 for a pre-paid envelope addressed to PSS

Or Download , fill out, save and email back to us, or print and Mail Back to Us at 204-5623 Imperial St., Burnaby, BC V5J 1G1


Our research is funded by:

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