Evidence-Based Practice in Kinship Care
This section offers resources to identify evidence-based and promising practices in kinship care programs, including State and local examples.
Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Supporting Kinship Care
Casey Family Programs
Presents promising practices and lessons learned from an initiative to improve kinship care services to children and families by establishing a strong partnership between the kinship families and child welfare systems.
Kinship Care (PDF - 55 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2009)
Offers a tool for permanency that discusses the growth and advantages of kinship care, presents research findings on kinship care stability, and identifies the principles of best practice in facilitating permanence in kinship care.
Kinship Care: Best Practice Guidance
Child Welfare League of America (2005)
Describes best practice guidelines for child welfare professionals working with kinship families. The guidelines address areas such as assessments, financial support, cultural competence, and case planning.
Kinship Care in the United States: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Research: Final Report (PDF - 456 KB)
Winokur, Rozen, Thompson, Green, & Valentine (2005)
Summarizes 35 quantitative studies of outcomes for children placed with grandparents or relatives compared to those placed in foster care and discusses the implications of those outcomes for planning and implementing kinship care services for children and families.
Supporting Kinship Care: Towards a New Practice Framework (PDF - 268 KB)
Benevolent Society (2009)
Reviews kinship care policy and practice models in Australia and other countries, discusses promising kinship care practices, and presents practice recommendations for an out-of-home care program in New South Wales.
Ten Steps Public Child Welfare Agencies Can Take to Support Children in Safe and Stable Kinship Families (PDF - 94 KB)
Recommends actions such as developing family finding protocols, assessing relative homes in a timely manner, developing standardized process to waive licensing requirements, improving financial assistance for relative caregivers, establishing cross-system partnerships, and more.
Training Kin to Be Foster Parents: Best Practices From the Field (PDF - 100 KB)
Includes information on Federal licensing requirements, State and county efforts to develop foster parent training programs tailored specifically for kin, common themes related to kin-specific training, and questions that States and localities should consider as they develop kin-specific training.
State and local examples
Relative Search and Placements (PDF - 137 KB)
Iowa Department of Human Services (2007)
Discusses best practices for placing foster children with relative caregivers, the steps for conducting a diligent search, assessment of the safety of a kinship arrangement, and ways to support kin.
Relative Search Best Practice Guide (PDF - 440 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2006)
Discusses how to conduct a relative search, the supervisor's role, and organizational supports for relative search efforts.
Treat Them Like Gold: A Best Practice Guide to Partnering With Resource Families (PDF - 4016 KB)
North Carolina Division of Social Services (2009)
Provides tools and strategies to build, refine, and sustain partnerships with resource families, including kinship caregivers. Topics addressed include public awareness; community alliance building; general, targeted, and child-specific recruitment; training; diversity; and retention of resource families.