Kinship care is commonly defined as "the full-time care, nurturing, and protection of a child by relatives, members of their Tribe or clan, godparents, stepparents, or other adults who have a family relationship to a child." The relationship should be respected on the basis of the family's cultural values and emotional ties. There are many benefits to placing children with relatives or other kinship caregivers, such as increased stability and safety as well as the ability to maintain family connections and cultural traditions. The following resources provide basic information about kinship care, including definitions; discuss the benefits of kinship care for children and families; present information on the needs of and challenges faced by kinship caregivers; and describe the prevalence of kinship care in the United States.
Children in Kinship Care Experience Improved Placement Stability, Higher Levels of Permanency, and Decreased Behavioral Problems: Findings From the Literature (PDF - 81 KB)
Summarizes research suggesting that kinship caregivers provide improved placement stability, higher levels of permanency, and decreased behavior problems to children in care.
Children Thrive in Grandfamilies (PDF - 365 KB)
Summarizes research showing that children thrive in grandfamilies and do even better when well-supported by services.
Kinship Care Is Better for Children and Families
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
Presents an overview of kinship care, including a discussion on how it minimizes trauma, improves well-being, increases permanency, improves behavioral and mental health outcomes, promotes sibling ties, and preserves identity for children and youth.
|Series Title||Factsheets for Families|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 575KB)
Versión para imprimir (PDF - 717KB)
Kinship Foster Care for Children in the Child Welfare System
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (2018)
Provides a description of kinship care along with a discussion on benefits, evidence of effectiveness, impact on disparities, implementation examples, and additional resources.
A Place to Call Home: Building Affordable Housing for Grandfamilies
Generations United (2019)
Highlights housing solutions and recommendations to help support grandparents who are raising children. The resource also includes links to an infographic, a podcast, a photo album, and more.
Research Brief: A Qualitative Research Study of Kinship Diversion Practices (PDF - 239 KB)
Malm & Allen (2016)
Explores the benefits of placing children with relatives rather than with foster caregivers.
State of Grandfamilies 2017: In Loving Arms: The Protective Role of Grandparents and Other Relatives in Raising Children Exposed to Trauma (PDF - 2,724 KB)
Generations United (2017)
Discusses the ways in which kinship caregivers can help their child understand and respond to the trauma that they have experienced, including maintaining community ties and creating a safe and stable home.
What Is Kinship Care?
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2019)
Explains public and private kinship care, information about the benefits of kinship care, and the types of children in kinship care settings.
WikiHow for Kinship Foster Care (PDF – 131 KB)
Generations United, ChildFocus, & ABA Center on Children and the Law (2017)
Includes the fundamental steps to creating a kin-first culture and accompanying tools to implement the steps of such a culture.