The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 directed the Secretary of HHS to develop this report to Congress. This report was prepared with the input of the Advisory Panel on Kinship Care which met in October 1998 and January 1999. The report has two parts. Part I reviews the academic and related research literature on kinship care, including what is known about current practices in the use of relatives as foster parents. Part II is the Secretary's Report to Congress, which presents the Department's conclusions and recommendations based on the Advisory Panel's input, on internal deliberations, and on available research and data. In requesting this report, the Congress asked for information on a variety of topics including state practices, policies, and costs for services to families in which a relative cares for a child in state custody, as well as family characteristics and conditions that lead to relative foster care placements. Note that the Executive Summary includes information only on the research review and does not summarize the Secretary's Report.