Report to the Congress on Kinship Foster Care. Summary of the Experiences of Kinship CARE Families


Caseworkers treat public kinship care families differently from non-kin families, and the experiences of public kinship care families appear to differ markedly from those of non-kin foster families.

  • Caseworkers’ practices. Compared to non-kin foster parents, public kinship caregivers have less interaction with caseworkers and receive less supervision and information about their responsibilities and the role of the child welfare agency. Public kinship caregivers and children receive fewer services, though it is uncertain whether this reflects differences in needs, knowledge about, or access to such services. Birth parents of public kinship care and non-kin foster children receive similar services.
  • Experiences in care. Public kinship care allows children to maintain a greater sense of family continuity. Given the limited research available, it not possible to assess whether concerns regarding increased risk to children in public kinship care are warranted. Children placed in kinship care remain in care longer and are much less likely to move from foster home to foster home than non-kin foster children. However, children in kinship care are less likely to be reunified with their birth parents.

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