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, discusses the benefits of kinship care for children and families, presents information on the needs of and challenges faced by kinship caregivers, and describes the prevalence of kinship care in the United States.
Connect: Supporting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Futures Without Violence
Provides a free training curriculum for use with foster parents, kinship caregivers, and adoptive parents caring for children who have been exposed to domestic violence.
Family Preservation and Kinship Care
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Provides resources to better understand family reunification and kinship care.
Provides a searchable database of laws and legislation in all 50 States and the District of Columbia affecting grandparents raising children within and outside of the child welfare system.
The GrandKin Guide: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Relatives Raising Children (PDF – 2,908 KB)
National Kinship Alliance for Children (2013)
Explains what extended families can expect when asked to care for children by defining kinship care and different types of kinship care, explaining the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and discussing choices relatives have when asked by child welfare agencies to care for their related child.
Child Welfare League of America
Describes the benefits of kinship parenting for children who cannot safely remain with their biological parents.
National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (2004)
Presents an overview of kinship care, State and Federal policy, and resources for kinship caregivers.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Presents general information from the Federal Government on the definition of kinship care, the prevalence of its use, and organizations and publications addressing kinship care.
|Series Title||Factsheets for Families|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 575KB)
Versión para imprimir (PDF - 580KB)
The Kinship Diversion Debate: Policy and Practice Implications for Children, Families, and Child Welfare Agencies (PDF - 388 KB)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2013)
Defines the various sides of the debate over using kinship care as a diversion option from the State foster care system.
National Center on Grandfamilies
Works to improve access to services and create supportive programs and laws for families headed by grandparents and other relatives who share their homes with grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other related children. Also see the State factsheets and other resources.
State Child Welfare Policy Database
Casey Family Programs & Child Trends
Provides a breakdown of policies related to kinship care by State.
State Fact Sheets for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children
Provides access to fact sheets by State that provide data on the number of grandparent caregivers, lists of local programs, resources, and benefits, as well as State policies and laws relevant to kinship caregivers.
Subsidized Guardianship and Kinship Care
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Explains the definition of legal guardianship.