Kinship care is when children and youth live with relatives, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, extended family, or fictive kin (those known to the family). Kinship care, in its many forms, has become a focus in meeting the needs of children and youth involved in the child welfare system. When the home environment is unsafe, kinship placements are the preferred option because they can help to maintain family connections and cultural traditions and minimize the trauma of separation. Kinship care is a longstanding tradition in communities of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds that continues to prevail.
Prioritizing the placement of children and youth with kin can help transform the child welfare system into one that truly supports families. Supporting kin caregivers by using family engagement strategies and providing culturally appropriate training, services, and equitable supports can positively impact stability and permanency outcomes for children, youth, and families.
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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.
Working With Kinship Caregivers
Learn about the benefits of kinship care and how child welfare professionals can promote it by providing kinship caregivers with information, referrals, and support services to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in their care.
Partnering With Relatives to Promote Reunification
Shares stories and advice from caregivers and birth parents who have experienced kinship care on the importance of maintaining boundaries, managing family dynamics, building trust, positive parenting and communication, and securing support.
Title IV-E Plan Amendment–Separate Licensing Standards for Relative or Kinship Foster Family Homes
Find instructions for title IV-E agencies that opt to adopt licensing or approval standards for relative or kinship foster family homes that differ from the standards used for non-relative foster family homes.
Background Checks for Prospective Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers
This factsheet discusses the requirements set by States for conducting background checks of prospective foster and adoptive parents and other out-of-home caregivers, as well as any adults residing in the prospective caregivers' households.
Spotlight on Kinship Care
This issue of the CBX highlights kinship care and how placing children in need of out-of-home care with relatives can help them maintain connections to family, community, and culture including a message from Associate Commissioner Aysha E. Schomburg.