Report to the Congress on Kinship Foster Care. Chapter 4 Experiences of Public Kinship Care Families


Given the differences in their circumstances and characteristics, it is not surprising that the experiences of public kinship care families differ from those of non-kin foster care families. Specifically, it appears that child welfare caseworkers treat public kinship care families differently than they do non-kin foster families. They provide less supervision, less monitoring, and fewer services to kinship care families. In addition, the experiences of children while in public kinship care differ from those of non-kin foster children. Children in public kinship care maintain closer ties with their birth families, are less likely to have multiple placements, tend to remain in out-of-home placement longer, and are less likely to be reunified with their parents. While concerns have been raised about the safety of public kinship care arrangements, there is insufficient information to assess whether these concerns are warranted. There is virtually no information on how placement in public kinship care affects the long-term health and well-being of children.

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