What Exactly Is Kinship Care?
Kinship care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends (often referred to as fictive kin). Relatives are the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it helps maintain their connections with their families, increases stability, and minimizes the trauma of family separation.
Kinship caregivers must have the supports they need when a child is placed in their care. Resources in this section include information on changing family dynamics, financial and legal support, and permanency.
Facts About Kinship Care
1. There are two types of kinship care There is informal kinship care as well as formal kinship care. Some children may be placed with their relatives privately (informal kinship care), while others are formally placed in kinship care by a child welfare agency (public kinship care or kinship foster care).
2. Relatives are usually given preference in foster care placements Child welfare agencies attempt to place children with biological relatives whenever possible. This is done in the child’s best interest to help ease the transition of being removed from their home and their parents. Research suggests that children in kinship care are often better able to adjust to their new environment, less likely to experience school or behavioral problems, and less likely to be moved than children in non-relative foster homes.
3. Kinship care is a lot more common than you think An estimated 2.7 million children — 4 percent of all children in the U.S. — are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. Nearly 25% of children in foster care are placed with relatives, and it’s estimated that many more are being raised by grandparents or other relatives outside of the foster system.
4. There are resources available to kinship caregivers Kinship caregivers are usually eligible for financial assistance through the state and are eligible for additional assistance to support them with services like therapy, counseling, respite care, and more. If you are currently raising a grandchild, niece, nephew, or another relative in your home, contact us to learn more about these services, and take advantage of the resources that are available to you!
5. Kinship families need help and support With so many children being raised by relatives other than their biological parents, chances are you may know someone in your community who is currently raising a child in kinship care. Like anyone raising a child, these caregivers deal with the same kind of emotional, financial, and physical stress — but it’s often amplified because of the unique situation their child is in.
How Do We Help?
All Things New Inc. understands the economic challenges faced by kinship caregivers to overcome these challenges, our financial education and other helpful topics are enriched with the tools and resources needed to enable program participants to put together a viable plan to assist.
Establishing Your Financial Baseline
Accessing Financial Products and Services
Why Credit Matters
Protecting Your Identity