Informal and Formal Kinship Care. Who is in Kin Care and How Has It Changed?


Race and ethnicity. Kinship care is most prevalent among African Americans and least prevalent among non-Hispanic whites (see Table 1.2). In 1992-93, 6.1 percent of all African American children, but only 1.1 percent of non-Hispanic white children, were being cared for by a relative other than a parent. The prevalence for Hispanic whites, 2.7 percent in 1992-93, is higher than for non-Hispanic whites, but still substantially below the prevalence for blacks. (Sample sizes for other racial/ethnic groups are small.) Between 1983-85 and 1992-93, the prevalence of kinship care for blacks increased substantially, from 5.2 percent to 6.1 percent. For other groups, prevalence remained constant.


Age. The prevalence of kin care increases with age, from 1.3 percent for children aged 0 to 4 to 3.6 percent for children aged 15 to 17. The sharpest increase in prevalence is between age group 10-14 and age group 15-17; between these ages, the prevalence of kinship care increases from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent. Over the period studied, there are no major changes in the prevalence of kinship care by age.

Sex. There is no difference in the prevalence of kinship care for males and females.

Geography. Kinship care is substantially more common in the South (2.9 percent) than in the other three regions, the Northeast (1.9 percent), the West (1.7 percent), or the Midwest (1.5 percent). In 1992-93, kinship care is also somewhat more common in nonmetropolitan than metropolitan areas, 2.5 percent versus 2.0 percent. Over the period studied, prevalence rates did not change substantially for the regions or for metropolitan or nonmetropolitan areas.

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