It appears that kinship care (both public and private) is more common in central cities than in rural or metropolitan areas (Beeman et al., 1996; Cook and Ciarico, 1998; Harden et al., 1997). However, at least for private kinship care, this appears to be largely because African American families are more heavily concentrated in the central cities (Clark, 1997). In addition, both public and private kinship care appear to be far more common in the South (Geen and Clark, 1999; Harden et al., 1997).

Figure 7. Characteristics of Public Kinship Caregivers

Compared to non-kin foster parents, public kinship caregivers are more likely to be

  • Older
  • African American
  • Single and never married
  • Poorer
  • Less well educated
  • Employed and employed full-time
  • Experiencing economic, health, or emotional difficulties

*Also true of private kinship caregivers.

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