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. The following resources provide definitions of kinship care and commonly used terms surrounding both formal and informal kinship care. Resources include State and local examples.
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 - 335KB)
Definition and Purpose of Relative or Kinship Care
Missouri Department of Social Services (2010)
In Child Welfare Manual
Reviews the definition of relative care and kinship care, and discusses factors to consider in identifying potential relative or kinship care providers.
Definition of Kinship Caregivers: Findings and Recommendations (PDF - 282 KB)
Virginia Commission on Youth (2012)
Discusses confusion over the use of the term "kinship caregiver" in Virginia and offers recommendations for modifying the Code of Virginia to ensure clarity.
Kinship Care Self-Study Course (PDF - 251 KB)
Alaska Center for Resource Families (2006)
Defines kinship care and describes the difference between formal and informal kinship care in Alaska. Materials also include information on kinship care programs in Alaska, the number of children in kinship care, and more.
Kinship Care in Michigan: An Overview (PDF - 143 KB)
Presents a definition of kinship care, Michigan kinship care statistics, informal and formal arrangements, and resources for more information.
About Kinship Care Navigator Services of Summit County
Summit County Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Discusses what kinship care is, formal and informal kinship care, and reasons to consider kinship care as an option for children and youth.