Report to the Congress on Kinship Foster Care. The Extent to Which Children in Foster CARE are Placed with Relatives


In 1998, approximately 2.13 million children in the United States (or just under 3 percent) were living with relatives without a parent present (U.S. Census Bureau, 1998).5 Between 1983–1985 and 1992–1993, the number of children in such arrangements grew slightly faster than the number of children in the United States as a whole (8.4 percent vs. 6.6 percent) (Harden, Clark, and Maguire, 1997).6 Many researchers have claimed that social ills such as increased homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, AIDS, and child abuse and neglect placed great pressure on the nuclear family during this period and help explain the increase (Hornby and Zeller, 1995; Spar, 1993). Since 1994, however, both the number and the percentage of children in kinship care have decreased. 7

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