Foster parents and relative kinship caregivers, also known as resource families, are critical partners in ensuring the safety, permanency, and well-being of the more than 430,0001 children and youth in foster care. It is essential that child welfare agencies identify and implement an effective approach to recruiting, training, and sustaining resource families. A pool of highly qualified and engaged individuals is essential to meeting the needs of the children in care.

The idea of actively developing and supporting resource families throughout their involvement with the agency is a significant departure from the old approach of simply retaining families. This new approach aims to strengthen partnerships between resource families and agencies and among youth, service providers, birth families, and communities. For a child in foster care, how well these systems collaborate impacts the trajectory of their case and their life beyond care. As a larger system, we can work together to support resource families and improve agency practice and the overall outcome of the time a child spends in care.

This section provides resources for birth families, youth, foster and relative/kinship caregivers, guardians, Tribes, communities, and child welfare and related professionals.















1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau. (2017). Preliminary estimates for FY 2016 as of Oct 20, 2017 (24). Retrieved from