Most studies that have collected data on the age of kinship caregivers have found that, on average, they are older than non-kin foster parents, with a dramatic difference in the number of caregivers over age 60 (Barth et al., 1994; Berrick et al., 1994; Chipungu et al., 1998; Davis et al., 1996; Gaudin and Sutphen, 1993; Gebel, 1996; Geen and Clark, 1999; Harden et al., 1997; Le Prohn, 1994). Approximately 25 percent of private kinship caregivers (Harden et al., 1997) and between 15 and 21 percent of public kinship caregivers (Chipungu et al., 1998; Gebel, 1996) are over 60, compared to less than 9 percent of non-kin foster parents (Chipungu et al., 1998; Gebel, 1996). These differences are not surprising, given the fact that private and public kinship caregivers are most often the grandparents of the children in their care (Brooks and Barth, 1998; Dubowitz, 1990; Gebel, 1996; Geen and Clark, 1999; Gleeson, 1995; Harden et al., 1997; Le Prohn, 1994; Link, 1996; Testa, 1999).29
While all children in foster care are younger than children cared for by their own parents, children in public kinship care appear to be even younger than children in non-kin foster care (AFCARS, 1998; Berrick et al., 1995; Chipungu et al., 1998; Cook and Ciarico, 1998; Dubowitz et al., 1993; Iglehart, 1994; Landsverk et al., 1996; Le Prohn and Pecora, 1994). In contrast, children in private kinship care appear to be older than non-kin foster children (Harden et al., 1997).