May is National Foster Care Month

Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong

The Children's Bureau's National Foster Care Month campaign recognizes the important role that members from all parts of child welfare play in supporting children, youth, and families. Learn more about this year's theme on strengthening relative and kin connections and the positive impact these relationships have on maintaining family and cultural ties for children and youth in foster care.

Reflections: Stories of Foster Care

"Raising grandkids is busy and overwhelming. Having the help to navigate paperwork, uncovering resources in the community, and just walking alongside you as you embark on the journey is priceless."

"Many kinship families are not blood relatives but the bond and sense of familiarity they create makes them family. Jennifer is one of those kinship families, opening her home and heart to three little girls who needed a safe and stable home."

Key Facts and Statistics

There are over 407,000 children and youth in foster care, and 34 percent were placed with relatives or kin. 

When children cannot remain safely in their home, placement with relatives and kin - both formally through the child welfare system and informal through family arrangements - can increase stability, reduce trauma, and help children maintain a sense of family, belonging and identity. 

Investing in culturally appropriate services and supports for relative and kin caregivers may help reinforce a child’s cultural identity and traditions.  their parents or primary caregiver.

Relational permanency is fundamental to the well-being of children and youth. Maintaining relationships with relatives and kin can help provide a sense of belonging for young people in care.

Include these key points in your messaging to demonstrate the important role relative and kinship caregivers play in supporting family connections that are essential to a child’s health and well-being.


View resources that demonstrate how child welfare professionals can support relative and kin connections to keep families strong.

Supporting Caregivers Through Kinship Navigator Programs

Provides information about the critical supports kinship navigator programs can offer relative and kinship caregivers.

Partnering With Relatives to Promote Reunification

Shares stories and advice from caregivers and birth parents who have experienced kinship care.

Recommendations for Improving Permanency and Well-Being

Shares recommendations from youth on how to support permanency with kin, relational permanency, and older youth adoption.


Presidential Proclamation

Read about the President's commitment to promoting safe, permanent homes for children in foster care and providing resources that enhance their well-being.

National Reunification Month

June is National Reunification Month! Honor people and efforts from around the country that make it possible for families to stay together.

Children's Bureau Message

The Children's Bureau is focused on putting families first, strengthening them where needed, and helping keep them safe and together!

Kinship Care and the Child Welfare System

This new factsheet is designed to help kinship caregivers work effectively with the child welfare system.