Children and youth thrive when they can live safely with their families in their communities. However, when home environments are not safe, children and youth may temporarily live in out-of-home placements known as foster care. There are several types of foster care settings, with the preferred option being placement with relatives, also known as kinship care. When placement with family is not an option, children and youth may live with nonrelative caregivers. Congregate care settings, such as qualified residential treatment programs, should only be used when children and youth require specific psychological or behavioral services that cannot be administered in home-based foster care settings.
Foster care is a temporary, court-monitored service provided by States to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and youth. The Federal government supports State foster care services through program funding and legislation. Foster caregivers typically undergo licensing and training so that they are well-equipped to provide children and youth with shelter, support, and care.
Explore the following resources to learn more about foster care. Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.
Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
Protecting the Rights and Providing Appropriate Services to LGBTQIA2S+ Youth in Out-of-Home Care
Review State laws and policies that are directed toward reducing the negative experiences of LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-Spirit, or other gender or sexual identity) youth in care.
Sibling Issues in Foster Care and Adoption
Explores research, strategies, and resources to assist child welfare professionals in preserving connections among siblings knowing that sibling relationships can provide positive support and improved outcomes for children involved with child welfare ...Read More
Describes Children's Bureau funding that supports States in foster family homes or State licensed childcare institutions. The webpage reviews the Title IV-E Foster Care Program as well as the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transit ...Read More
Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children
Review laws that require child welfare agencies to make reasonable efforts to provide services to help families remedy the conditions that brought the child and family into the child welfare system. The factsheet also defines reasonable efforts.
Kinship Care and the Child Welfare System
Find information to help kin caregivers work effectively with the child welfare system. The publication also includes links to more detailed information on places to find support and additional resources to help caregivers learn about child welfare.
Placement of Children With Relatives
Presents an overview of State laws giving priority or preference to a child's relatives when they need to be placed in out-of-home care including locating relatives, determining the fitness of a relative to provide care, and requirements for licensur ...Read More