Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Informal and Formal Kinship Care

Publication Date
Jun 19, 1997

Volume I. NARRATIVE REPORTS

Introduction

This report presents the results of work pursued by analysts at two separate research institutions in a collaboration designed to provide the best information available to describe the children living without a parent in kinship care arrangements in the United States.

The work was charged by task order to examine existing national data sources in order to describe the characteristics of children in kinship living arrangements and to define recent trends in the pattern of kinship caregiving. Particular importance was attached to developing information that could support a comparison between formal kinship care arrangements (i.e. kinship care provided as foster care under state auspices) and informal kinship arrangements (all other caregiving provided by relatives in the absence of a parent).

The project included four separate, and relatively independent, research tasks -- each using a different set of information tools. Taken as a whole, they provide a greatly improved picture of kinship care in the United States and an enriched context for discussing these issues.

This report is organized into two separate Volumes.

  • Volume I contains an executive summary, a brief review of the literature on kinship care, the narrative portion of each of the four research reports, and a closing discussion.
  • Volume II contains the Figures and Tables that support the discussion for each of the four research reports in Volume I. Please note that Volume II is essential to reading the material in Volume I -- it is not an addendum or appendix, but an integral part of the four reports. The Tables and Figures are arranged apart from the narrative to encourage the reader to refer to them while reading the reports, without continually having to turn pages back and forth.

Section I, the Current Population Survey analysis, was prepared by Rebecca L. Clark and Karen E. Maguire of the Urban Institute. Sections II-V, analyzing census data and state- generated administrative record information, were prepared by Allen Harden at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

This work was prepared for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Contract Number HHS- 100-95-0021, Delivery Order #4. Laura Feig of the Office of Children and Youth Policy was the ASPE Contract Officer for this Task Order. Her contributions to the project were substantial, and her guidance, patience and support are appreciated greatly by the authors.

Review of Prioir Research on Formal and Informal Kinship Care

One of the more striking patterns of recent change in the American child welfare system has been major growth in the number of children in state custody who are being placed in the care of their own relatives. This rapid expansion of kinship foster care has not occurred uniformly across the United States; rather it has been concentrated in certain states and regions, and among certain racial/ethnic groups. However, the shifts have been sufficiently dramatic to have importance that is fully national in scope. In part, this broader importance is due to the substantial impact that kinship foster care has had on the national child welfare caseload. About 150,000 children, roughly one-third of all children in foster care, are currently placed in formal kinship foster care arrangements in the United States.

It might be argued that the emergence of widely varying policies and practices regarding kinship foster care placement reflects a climate of governmental uncertainty; individually, states are grappling with fundamental issues about their role and responsibility for dealing with the needs and rights of children and families. There are many bellwethers that kinship foster care is at the tip of deep and controversial public issues: among these are the broad proliferation of state policy responses, the absence of practical consensus at any governmental level, and the frequency with which actual practice mandates have been decided in the judicial system. It is an issue that is forcing a reconsideration of the role of foster care and the prevailing guidelines of child protection and permanency planning. It is an issue that forces us to determine mechanisms for evaluating the role of the nuclear versus the extended family, and for considering if there is any difference in public responses to the needs of either. And there is widespread concern that this issue is one that may become inextricably involved in the national discussion of poverty and welfare reform.

While the practice of placing some child wards of the state in the care of extended family members has been taking place for many years, the phenomenon of its widespread use didn't begin until the mid 1980's, and the awareness of kinship foster care as an important trend among child welfare analysts dates from the early 1990's.

For example, in an agenda-setting policy seminar held at the U.S. Capitol in January 1990 entitled "The crisis in foster care: New directions for the 1990's", the only mention of kinship care by one of the three national child welfare experts on the panel involved an acknowledgement that some states were meeting the problem of a reduction in available foster homes by placing more children with relatives (Ooms, 1990). The literature on kinship care is recent, and is not yet integrative. For the purpose of review, it will be separated into discussions that bear on description of a.) the recent growth in kinship care, b.) empirical comparisons of the characteristics and experiences of children in kinship care placements to those of children in more traditional non-family foster care placements, c.) discussions of the legal and policy issues which are involved in kinship foster care. This work will be discussed in section I.

To examine kinship foster care within a wider social context, and to anticipate some of the issues that can be expected to emerge in the process of national welfare reform, it is useful to consider the current and historical patterns of kinship care that occur without specific regard to the involvement of state custody and the child welfare system. Many children are cared for by relatives other than a parent, on a temporary basis or throughout the full term of their childhood. These arrangements do not require the state to take custody of the child, indeed most are privately arranged by agreement between the parent and the kin caretaker -- sometimes involving a legal transfer of authority or guardianship rights to the relative. For the purpose of this work, all such caretaker arrangements that are made without the state actually having legal custody of the child are considered together as informal kinship care, which is distinguished from formal kinship foster care. The literature describing trends in the living arrangements of children and specifically describing issues in informal kinship caregiving will be discussed in Section II.

A. Kinship Foster Care

Description of Kinship Foster Care Growth

 

The foster care population of the United States has grown rapidly over the past decade, following a period of relative stability. National estimates provided by the American Public Welfare Association suggest that about 442,000 children were in substitute care at the end of 1992, an increase of around 60% from the end of 1985 (Tatara, 1993). This increase has been attributed to many factors. Social explanations have included increased reporting of abuse and neglect, a change in drug usage patterns related to the spread of crack cocaine addiction, and increased levels of poverty. Child welfare system explanations have included increased durations of stay in care, relative reductions in caseworker staffing, and in many states, changes in policy required to obtain compliance with court-ordered reform.

The rapid expansion of kinship foster care as a common placement solution has occurred simultaneously with this recent period of rapid overall growth in foster care. National counts of kinship foster care are not available, as many states do not separate relatives from unrelated foster parents in their reporting systems. The HHS Inspector General obtained 1990 data from 29 states identifying 80,000 children who received foster care from relatives (HHS Office of the Inspector General, 1992). In the 25 of these states where trend data are available, the proportion of foster children in kinship placements increased from 18% in 1986 to 31% in 1990, with most of the actual kinship growth occurring in three states: New York, Illinois, and California. Recent trend data for these three states shows that the share of all foster care provided in the homes of relatives has continued to increase. Between 1988 and 1993, kinship services as a percentage of all foster care rose from 32% to 54% in Illinois, from 22% to 45% in California, and from 23% to 36% in New York (Goerge, Wulczyn & Harden, 1995).

Discussion continues as to whether the growth of kinship care is leading or following the general growth in foster care. On the one hand, a decline in the availability of traditional foster homes is often used to explain an increasing reliance on the use of kinship foster homes by state child welfare agencies. Between 1985 and 1990, the number of foster families declined by 27% while the number of foster children increased by 47% (National Foster Parent Association, 1991). On the other hand, the enhanced availability of foster care support to kinship families, and particularly the high foster care maintenance payments, is often put forward as an explanation for general foster care growth. Clearly though, the door has been opened for kinship foster care. A key Supreme Court decision in Youakim vs Miller (1979) determined that relative caregivers cannot be denied federal foster care benefits if otherwise eligible. HHS reported that 29 states required kinship preference in placing foster children in 1990 (HHS Office of the Inspector General, 1992).

Children in Kinship Foster Care

As researchers became aware of the growth in formal relative caregiving arrangements within the child welfare system, their initial efforts turned mostly towards characterizing this type of placement and evaluating the effectiveness of kinship care within the child welfare system.

The potential benefits attributed to kinship foster care are that it involves less disruption to the child than placement with strangers, in that the placement is connected to their existing personal support network, community, and cultural background. Many states have justified kinship preference as meeting the "least restrictive" guidelines of PL 96-272. Some early analysts argued that placement with relatives would increase the likelihood of reunification with parents by maintaining close family contacts (c.f. Hill, 1977). Potential problems attributed to kinship foster care are that it involves more protective risk by encouraging parental access, that it places children in care situations with undertrained, overburdened and often unsupervised custodians (Fein & Maluccio, 1992), that providing foster care payment to extended family member may deter reunification or adoption (Meyer & Link, 1990), and that it might represent excessive governemental incursion into the role of the family (Testa, 1994).

Descriptions of kinship foster care providers suggest that the caregivers are older, more often single, disproportionally African American, poorer, less educated, and less likely to be employed than non-kin foster parents (Berrick, Barth, & Needell, 1994; Le Prohn 1994). That foster parent training requirements are often waived for relative caregivers extends this description of kin caregivers having less resources. However, LeProhn also found that kin foster parents behaved more like biological parents by assuming more of the affective parenting responsibilities than did non-relative foster parents. The children in kinship care arrangements, apart from the ethnic differences, have not been demonstrated to differ appreciably from other foster children in a significant manner. Importantly, these children do not appear to be at higher risk of future abuse or neglect than do other foster children (Testa, 1994).

Kinship placements are more stable than non-kin foster care, in that the children are moved to another placement from a relative home far less frequently than from a non-family foster home (Tatara, 1993; Berrick, Barth & Needell, 1994; LeProhn & Pecora, 1994). Kinship placements also last longer than other placements, with lower rates of reunification and lower rates of all other discharges (Wulczyn & Goerge, 1992; Barth, Courtney, Berrick & Albert). In a pooled three-state study of five years worth of case histories, Goerge, Wulczyn & Harden (1994) found that the median kinship placement spell was 30% longer than other placement spells, even after controlling for the effects of year of entry, metro/non-metro residence, age, ethnicity, at entry to foster care, and state. Because kinship placements are correlated with African American ethnicity and urban residence, both of which independently contribute to longer durations, the gross impact of increased kinship care on duration and caseload size can be very large.

Examining factors related to observable outcome differences between kinship and other foster care, Iglehart (1994) looked at a sample of adolescents and found no real difference in educational and behavioral outcomes between kinship and non-family foster children, except that kinship foster children had somewhat fewer serious mental health problems. LeProhn & Pecora (1994) also found few differences in behavioral outcomes between kin and non-kin foster children. The one area where differences have been consistently observed involves access to services. Several research efforts have documented that kinship foster children receive less preventative health care and medical services , fewer caseworker visits, and less case planning and supervision (GAO, 1995; Dubowitz, Feigelman & Zuravin, 1993).

A consistent and controversial portrayal emerges from the literature on kinship care. On most observable measures, children in kinship care arrangements appear to doing as well or better than other foster children, although they have access to fewer service resources than do foster children in non-kinship placements. Kinship placements are more stable, but they are also more likely to be "permanent". Long-term kinship care as a permanent arrangement is not consistent with the current policy structure of most states, and the tension between policy and this reality has significant ramifications for child welfare planning.

Kinship Policy and Practice

The placement of foster children with relatives is not new, but before the 1980's this arrangement was atypical, and generally used in "specific" or last-resort situations (Kusserow, 1992). In federal policy, kinship care was first addressed in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-608) which made explicit allowance for extended family placements. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (P.L. 96-272), which is the primary federal blueprint for the present child welfare system, makes no specific reference to kinship care, although an early version of the bill did contain language requiring preference for relatives (Spar, 1993). However, the provision of the Act for placement in the "least restrictive" and "most family-like" setting has been interpreted by many state policy makers as justifying or mandating a relative preference.

Many states practiced a two-tier system of child welfare payment, where non-family foster parents were reimbursed at the foster care maintenance rate, and relative caregivers were reimbursed at the AFDC rate. While rates vary among states, the foster care rate is usually higher, and often much higher, than the AFDC rate. More importantly, the child-based foster care rate is additive in cases where multiple children are in care in a single household, while the incremental change in the AFDC rate is scaled down for additional children. In the landmark kinship care court case, Youakim vs Miller, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that relatives who were otherwise eligible could not be excluded from federal foster care benefits.

Interpretation of federal policy and child welfare law has varied widely among the states. From 31 states who provided materials on kinship care policy, Gleeson and Craig (1994) found that these policies are based on varying combinations of statute, administrative policy, and case law. In 21 of states, relatives are the first priority placement resource for a child removed from home, and eight of these states require the agency to search for an appropriate relative caregiver. Seventeen states waive specific standards (most commonly training) for relatives to become "approved" caregivers. The primary difference between kinship foster care policies among states has to do with qualifications for reimbursement. Youakim vs Miller applies only to IV-E eligible children (those who were AFDC-eligible, who are physically moved from a residence, and who are cared for in licensed foster homes). While 16 of the 31 states evaluated will pay foster care boarding rates to all relatives, six of these states will only do so if the child is IV-E eligible, with the remaining kinship care cases receiving the AFDC rate. States also vary in whether they will pay the foster care rate to an "approved" relative home that is not licensed. As federal reimbursement remains tied to IV-E eligibility, these decisions have dramatic fiscal implications for the states, and great impact on the practical implications of kinship foster care.

Paying the full foster care rate to kinship care providers is easily justified as an issue of equality, in that relatives should not be penalized for providing the same service to the state for which a non-relative would be paid. However, the higher foster care payments may be acting as an enticement to bring kinship care units into the foster care system, and they may be providing an inducement to delay discharges and reunification efforts. As long as a significant discrepancy exists between foster care board payments and the AFDC rate, "perverse incentives" will exist in state and federal kinship care policy (Courtney, 1995). Even prior to the growth of kinship care, the "double-system" implied by IV-E eligibility was critiqued as leading to undesirable policies regarding children in need (Gershenson, 1990).

Gleeson & Craig also warn of the broader consequences that extended kinship foster care, by virtue of bringing more child needs under the auspices of the formal social services sector, may have the undesired effect of discouraging continuation of the informal helping systems of families and communities, and unnecessarily intrude on the helping process.

Largely due to a long history of court-initiated decisions, Illinois has been the state with the most inclusive policy towards kinship foster care, and has also had the most dramatic growth in what it terms "home of relative" (HMR) placements.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services attributes this growth primarily to a shift in public definition of the responsibilities of the parent vs the extended family

(McDonald, 1995). While many other factors have contributed (e.g. Illinois was the defendant in the Youakim lawsuit, relaxed HMR approval standards replaced licensing, and a statutory preference for relatives was passed by the legislature), the period of profound growth in kinship foster care occurred after an Appellate Court decision (People vs. Thornton, 1990) led to a redefinition of neglect. Thornton was interpreted as requiring a shift from a "home-based definition, in which IDCFS takes protective custody only when conditions in the relative's home pose a threat, to a parent-based definition, in which IDCFS takes protective custody whenever the parents are derelict in their responsibilities no matter the quality of care that is available to the children" (Testa. 1994). This broadening of the state's protective jurisdiction led to a rapid increase in indicated neglect allegations for "lack of supervision" and to many additional cases where the state assumed custody of children from pre-existing informal kinship care cases, IDCFS considers the "blurring of boundaries" between formal and informal kinship care to be a fundamental problem in child welfare.

A clear finding of all policy reviews in the area of kinship foster care is that policy is far from uniform. Placement preferences, assessment procedures, licensing and approval regulations, case monitoring levels, payment criteria, and rate levels all vary from state to state. Undoubtedly practice can vary between administrative units within each state as well.

B. Informal Kinship Care

The literature on informal kinship care is far less prolific than that discussed for kinship foster care. In part, this is due to the fact that informal kinship arrangements have little basis in or relationship to formal governmental policy, do not implicitly require any activity from the social service sector, and have no budget line or immediate fiscal impact. Relative caregiving, care for children by extended family members other than parents, has held an important role in the social service net for children long before the state became so actively involved in child support and protection.

Historically, there has been a strong class and cultural component to the level of kinship caregiving. Testa (1994) describes historical data that document a persistent difference in the percentages of African American and white children in parent-absent families. From 1880 through 1980, between 10 and 12 percent of African American children under the age of 15 lived in non-parent families, while the corresponding percentage for white children varied between 2 and 4 percent . Historians claim that these racial difference in kinship care can be traced through African American adaptations to economic structures dating back to slavery (Hill, 1977; Billingsley,1972).

Most of the current literature on informal kinship care is contained in census reports and related publications. The topic area of the living arrangements of children, which includes informal kinship arrangements, tends to be dominated by analysis of the much larger and broadly significant trend towards the increased share of children living in single parent families. Analysts disagree about the current status and future role of the nuclear family, and the extent to which parenthood outside of marriage, marital disruption, divorce, and serial marriage patterns are leading to a redefinition of the role of the family unit in American society (cf. Popenoe, etc.) The fact of change is apparent, though. In 1993, about 70% of all children lived in family groups with two parents (including step-parents), and less than 50% of all children lived in traditional intact nuclear family arrangements. In 1950, over 86% of children lived with two parents and 70% in intact nuclear families. Correspondingly, the percentage of children ages 0-17 living in one-parent families, has increased from 7.8% in 1950 to 26.6% in 1992. The numbers of mothers that are single parents due to nonmarriage, separation, and divorce have all increased rapidly across this time period. While the literature focuses on the demise of the nuclear family, we are also seeing the results of both cultural change and public welfare programs that allow single-parent families to persist.

During the same time period (1950-1992) the proportion of children living in an arrangement with neither parent present has decreased from 6% to 2.7% of all children. It is unclear as to whether this trend represents a "decline" in extended family and non-traditional caregiving, or is primarily a reflection of the normalization of the single-parent family. This "neither parent present" category combines many possible statuses, including those that are discussed here as informal kinship care, formal kinship care, non-kin family care and non-family (group quarter) living arrangements. Because census and CPS based statistics investigate household relationships, these data can be used to separate kinship from non-kinship care. But because they enumerate relationships without regard to custody status, both formal and informal kinship arrangements are combined in all of these reports. All trend data based on the CPS results prior to 1983 must be evaluated in light of a disclaimer: the CPS misclassified some children by not recognizing certain individuals in non-traditional households as parents (Saluter, 1989, P20-399). This resulted in an consistent undercount of children living with one parent, with the resulting overcount being in the "other relative" caretaker category. When this problem was corrected between 1981 and 1983, it became apparent that the most noticeable effects of misclassification had showed in the distribution of living arrangements of African American children, where the correction caused an apparent decrease in the number of children living with other relatives from 1.02 million to 482,000 . The CPS figures from 1983 onward should be treated with greater confidence.

The 1993 CPS data (Saluter, 1994) are the most recent national data available on the living arrangements of children. Of the 66.9 million children in the United States in March 1993, 70.6% lived in two-parent families, 26.7% lived with one parent, 2.2% lived with some other relative, and 0.6% lived with non-relatives. Of the 1.84 million children living in arrangements without a parent, 55% lived with a grandparent, 23% with another relative (aunt, sibling, etc), 11% with a non-relative "foster" parent, and 10% with some other non-relative or in group quarters. It is not possible, as described above, to separate the kinship categories into informal care and formal foster care categories with these data. Thus, while over 97% of American children in 1993 were living with at least one parent, there remains a population of about 1.44 million living with relatives and another 0.4 million living with non-relatives adults only..

As might be expected, the living arrangements of African American children are quite different from the overall national pattern. Of the 10.7 million African American children in the United States in March 1993, 35.7% lived with two parents, 53.8% with one parent, 6.2% with other relatives, and 1.2% with non-relatives. Of the 784,000 African American children living without parents, 64% live with grandparents, 20% with other relatives, 11% in non-relative "foster" care, and 5% with other non-relatives or in group quarters. The living arrangements of Hispanic children are distributed in a pattern similar to those of the national totals, with the main exception being that only 37% of the Hispanic children in non-parent living arrangements live with grandparents, while 43% live with other relatives.

While the grandparent and relative caregiving described above involves "pure" relative care arrangements (i.e. the parents are both absent), the total number of children living in households maintained by a grandparent has increased from 2.2 million in 1970 to 3.4 million in 1993. ( A total of 4.3 million when all related non-parent householders are included). Indeed, children living in a grandparent home in 1992 are more likely than not to have one or both parents present in the household. This re-emergence of three generation households has been attributed to increased childbirth among single teen parents, higher marital dissolution, unemployment, and the high cost of maintaining housing. Spar (1993) has pointed out that many of these relatives and grandparents are actually raising the grandchildren, wholly or in part, even if the mother is present. These households are not included in the enumeration of kinship care units, but they do represent a segment of the parent-present category that can easily convert to kinship care. Because the potential relative caregivers are already present, departure of the parent for any reason would redefine these arrangements to a kinship caregiving situation.

Beyond using national population survey data to describe the magnitude of kinship care provision, very little information has been located describing kinship caregiving outside of the child welfare framework. In one effort sponsored by the AARP, a national survey of grandparent caregivers was performed (Chalfie, 1994). The national figures above clearly indicated that grandparents are the common types of relative caregivers. In describing this group, Chalfie found the median age to be 57 years, and that almost one-quarter (23%) are age 65 or older. Over three-quarters (76%) of grandparent caregivers are married, and 93% of those who are single are female. As a group, these grandparents have relatively low educational levels and have lower incomes than any other group of nontraditional caregivers. While the modal grandparent caregiver is white and urban, African American and non-metropolitan caregivers are represented in higher proportions than the national norm. This study also finds over one-half of grandparent caregivers residing in the South, with the remainder distributed evenly across the other three regions. The clear picture that emerges from this survey is that this population of substitute parents is older and commands less personal resources than most caregivers. The policy implication drawn by Chalfie is that this group should require strong public supports. While many programs do exist and are utilized by them, she also finds that many grandparent caregivers have found barriers while trying to access public services.

Many complex issues face grandparent caregivers -- financial support and assistance, health insurance and medical coverage, decision-making authority for the children, and various legal problems. In most cases, grandparents who have established some legal relationship ( through guardianship, power of attorney, or foster parent status) have an easier time than grandparents whose caretaking is based solely on informal agreements. 28% of grandparent caregivers receive AFDC (three time more than for other non-traditional households), far fewer are receiving the higher foster care payment. Some grandparents do not want to become involved with the foster care approval and licensing process, do not want supervisory interventions by caseworkers, and do not wish to cede custody and control of the child to the state. However, many others are willing to do these things in order to qualify for foster care support payments or to gain access to services obtainable through the child welfare agency. The policies and practices of state child welfare agencies vary widely, but perceived discriminatory treatment against grandparents by foster care agencies is a leading complaint among grandparent caregivers (Chalfie, 1994).

An extensive literature exists describing the behavioral, psychological and economic advantages that exist for children living in two parent vs one-parent families, and for children living in traditional nuclear families vs those in blended families (at least one step-parent, step-sibling or half-sibling present) (c.f. Hernandez, 1993e know very little about the composition of kinship care families, the number of adults present and the presence of own-children of these adults in the family.

KINSHIP CARE BIBLIOGRAPHIC MATERIALS

Barth, R. P. and Berry, M., "Outcomes of child welfare services under permanency planning", Social Service Review, March 1987, 71-90.

Barth, R.P., Courtney, M., Berrick, J.D., and Albert, V. From child abuse to permanency planning, New York, Aldine De Gruyter, (1994). esp Chapter 5, 9.

Berrick, J. D., Barth, R.P., and Needell, B., "A comparison of kinship foster homes and family foster homes. Implications for kinship foster care as family preservation.", Children and Youth Services Review, 16:1/2 (1994), 35-63.

Billingsley, A.& Giovannoni, J. Children of the storm: Black children and American child welfare, (1972).

Black Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Position paper on kinship foster care, New York City (1992).

Boxwill, F. and Onama, M., "A study of demographic characteristics of families in kinship foster care unit", Edwin Gould Services for Children, November 1991.

Chalfie, D., Going it alone: A closer look at grandparents parenting grandchildren, American Association of Retired Persons, 1994, 12pp.

Child Welfare League of America, Kinship care: A natural bridge. (1994).

Courtney, M. E., "The foster care crisis and welfare reform: How might reform efforts affect the foster care system", Public Welfare, Summer 1995, 27-33.

Dubowitz, H., "Kinship care: Suggestions for future research", Child Welfare, 73 (1994) 553.

Dubowitz, H., Feigelman,S., Harrington, D., Starr, R. and Sawyer, R., "Children in kinship care: How do they fare?", Children and Youth Service Review, 16 (1994), 85-106.

Dubowitz, H., Feigelman,S., and Zuravin, S, "A profile of kinship care", Child Welfare, 72:2 (1993), 153-169.

Fein, E., & Maluccio, A., "Permanency planning: Another remedy in Jeopardy?," Social Service Review, Sept 1992.

Fein, E., Maluccio, A., Hamilton, V.J., & Ward, D.E., "After foster care: Outcomes of permanency planning for children," Child Welfare 62:6, (1983).

Furukawa, S., The diverse living arrangements of children: Summer 1991, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P70, No. 38, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1994, 12pp.

Gleeson, J.P., "Kinship care and public child welfare: Challenges and opportunities for social work education", Journal of Social Work Education, 31:2 (1995) 182-193.

Gleeson, J.P. and Craig, L. C., "Kinship care in child welfare: An analysis of states' policies", Children and Youth Services Review, 16 :1-2, (1994), pp.7-31.

Gleeson, J.P., Craig, L.C., Mollica. R.A. and Alberga, V., Kinship care in the United States: Final report, Jane Addams School of Social Work and the Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research. (forthcoming)

Goerge, R.M., "The reunification process in substitute care", Social Service Review, 64 (1990), 422-457.

Goerge, R.M., Wulczyn, F.H. and Fanshel D., "A foster care research agenda for the ?90's", Child Welfare, 73:5 (1994) 525.

Goerge, R.M., Wulczyn, F.H., & Harden, A., Foster care dynamics, 1988-1992: A report from the multistate foster care data archive, Chapin Hall Center for Children, 1994.

Goerge, R.M., Wulczyn, F.H., & Harden, A., Foster care dynamics, 1988-1993: An update from the multistate foster care data archive, Chapin Hall Center for Children, 1995.

Grinnell, R. M. and Jung, S., "Children placed with relatives", Social Work Research & Abstracts, 17:3 (1981): 31-32.

Hegar, R. and Scannapieco, M., "From family duty to family policy: The evolution of kinship care", Child Welfare, 74:1 (1995): 200-216.

Hernandez, D. J.., America's children: Resources from family, government, and the economy, Chapter 3, "The changing mix of parents and grandparents in childhood homes", Russell Sage Foundation, 1993, 57-97.

Hill, R. Informal adoption among black families, Urban League. (1977).

Iglehart, A., "Kinship foster care: Placement service and outcome issues", Children and Youth Service Review, 16:1-2, (1994) 107-127.

Kennedy, J.F. and Keeney, V.T., "The extended family revisited: Grandparents rearing grandchildren", Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 19:1 (Fall 1988), 26-35.

Killackey, E., "Kinship foster care", Family Law Quarterly, 26 (1992) 211-220.

LeProhn, N.S., "The role of the kinship foster parent: A comparison of relative and non-relative foster parents", Children and Youth Services Review, 16 (1994), 65-84.

LeProhn, N.S. and Pecora P.J., Summary of the Casey foster parent survey, The Casey Family Program, (1994)

Lewis, R. and Fraser, M., "Blending formal and informal networks in foster care", Children and Youth Services Review, 9, (1987) 153-69.

Lindsey, D., "Adequacy of income and the foster care placement decision: Using an odds ration approach to examine client variables", Social Work Research and Abstracts, 28 (1992) 29-36.

Magruder, J., "Characteristics of relative and non-relative adoptions by California public adoption agencies", Children and Youth Services Review, 16:1/2 (1994) 123.

Mayor's Commission for the Foster Care of Children, Family assets: Kinship care in New York City, (1993).

McDonald, J. Illinois HMR Reform Plan, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, February 1995.

Meyer, B.S. and Link, M.K., Kinship foster care: The double-edged dilemma, Task Force on Permanency Planning for Children, (1990).

Minkler, M., Grandmothers as caregivers: Raising children of the crack cocaine epidemic, Sage (1993).

National Commission on Family Foster Care, "The significance of kinship care", in A blueprint for fostering infants, children, and youths in the 1990s, Child Welfare League of America (1991).

National Foster Parent Association, National foster care facts and figures (1991).

Ooms, T. (ed.) The crisis in foster care: New directions for the 1990's, Family Impact Seminar, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 1990.

Popenoe, D., "American Family Decline, 1960-1990: A review and Appraisal", Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55 (August 1993), pp. 14-22. [Responses by Norvall Glenn, Judith Stacey, and Phillip Cowan follow]

Saluter, A., Marital status and living arrangements: March 1989, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P20-399, December 1989

Saluter, A., Marital status and living arrangements: March 1992, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P20-468, December 1992

Saluter, A., Marital status and living arrangements: March 1993, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P20-478, May 1994.

Scannapieco, M. and Hegar, R., K"Kinship care: Two case management models", Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 11:4, (1994) 315-324.

Spar, K., "Kinship foster care: An emerging federal issue", Congressional Research Service, September 1993, 38pp.

Takas, M., "Kinship care: Developing a safe and effective framework for protective placement of children with relatives", Children's Legal Rights Journal, 13:2 (1992) 12-19.

Takas, M., Kinship care and family preservation: Options for states in legal and policy development, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, September 1994, 76pp.

Task Force on Permanency Planning for Foster Children, Inc., Kinship foster care: The double-edged dilemma, Rochester, (1990).

Tatara, T. "U.S. child substitute care flow data for FY92 and current trends in the state child substitute care populations," VCIS Research Notes 9, (1993).

Testa, M. F., "Conditions of risk for substitute care", Children and Youth Services Review, 14 (1992) 27-36.

Testa, M. F., "Kinship foster care in Illinois", in Barth, Berrick and Gilbert, Child Welfare Research II, Columbia University Press.

Thornton, J.L., An investigation into the nature of kinship foster home, (doctoral dissertation), Yeshiva University, 1987.

Thornton, J.L., "Permanency planning for children in kinship foster homes", Child Welfare, 70, (1991) 593-601.

Transamerica Systems, Inc., "Draft: National study design", National study of outcomes for children placed in foster care with relatives, 1995, 14pp.

Transamerica Systems, Inc., "Revised report for the on-site survey of nine states", National study of outcomes for children placed in foster care with relatives, 1995, 14pp.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, State practices in using relatives for foster care, U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1992, 65pp.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Using relatives for foster care, U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1992, 17pp.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The national survey of current and former foster parents, (1994).

U.S. General Accounting Office, Services for young foster children, GAO/HEHS-94-89,

April 1994, 20pp.

Wulczyn, F.H. and Goerge, R.M., "Foster care in New York and Illinois: The challenge of rapid change", Social Service Review, 66 (1992) 278-294.

Section I. Children in Kin Care, 1983-1994: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

This analysis is based on data from the March Current Population Surveys (CPS) for the 12 years between 1983 and 1994. "Children in kin care" or "kin-care children" refers to never-married children who do not live with their parents, but live with other adult relatives. Whether these children are in formal foster care arrangements cannot be ascertained from the CPS data. "Children" refers to all individuals aged 17 or younger. "Caregivers" refers to both parents and the other relatives who take care of children. "Kin-caregivers" refers to the adult relatives, other than parents, who take care of children. We assume kin-care children are being cared for by the head of the family they are in and, if such a person exists, the head's spouse. We assume foster children are being cared for by the head of the household and, if such a person exists, the head's spouse. (For more detail on definitions, refer to Appendix I at the end of Volume II.)

In families headed by both a husband and a wife, "educational attainment" refers to the better educated caregiver. "Labor force status" refers to the caregiver most attached to the labor force, with "attachment" being greatest for those who were employed, followed by those who were unemployed, then those not in the labor force.

The original plan was to base analysis on four pooled 3-year groups--1983-85, 1986-88, 1989-91, and 1992-94--and to report the average annual values of indicators for each period. This 3-year averaging is necessary because the number of children in kin care in a single year's CPS sample is relatively small and therefore could provide unreliable estimates. However, the CPS data from 1993 and earlier were not comparable to the data collected in 1994. Between 1993 and 1994, the percentage of children in kin care jumped from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent, an increase of 42.4 percent. Over the 12 years studied, the next largest percentage change in the prevalence of kin care was a 10 percent increase between 1986 and 1987, from 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent. It appears that the marked increase is due to changes in CPS methodology, rather than dramatic increases in the prevalence of kin care. In 1994, several new changes were instituted. The sampling frame used for the 1994 CPS was the first based on the 1990 census, there was a switch from paper questionnaires to computer-assisted interviewing, it became easier for interviewers to code unusual types of living arrangements, and data were processed somewhat differently.

The improved measurement of kin care produced a reporting quandary. The latest, and probably best, data were from the 1994 CPS, but including these data in trend estimates would create the false impression that the annual average number of children in kin care is skyrocketing. We arrived at a two-pronged compromise approach. In analyzing changes over time in the percentage and number of children in kin care, we limited analysis to years for which data on household and family relationships were collected and processed consistently, 1983-93. For analyzing the characteristicsof children in kin care and their families, we extended our analysis to include data from the 1994 CPS. In general, including the 1994 data did not change the results significantly; where there were changes, the addition of the 1994 data usually strengthened already observed trends.

Although our trend analysis stops in 1993, it appears that the changes introduced in the 1994 CPS improved the identification of children in kin care. Our current best estimate of the number of children in kin care is 2,150,000 in 1994, 3.1 percent of all children.

Introduction

Between 1983-85 and 1992-93, the number of children in the United States grew modestly, from about 62,532,000 to 66,639,000, an increase of 6.6 percent (see Table 1.1). Over the same period, the number of children in kinship care increased slightly faster, from about 1,282,000 to 1,390,000, an 8.4 percent increase. This increase was due to increased prevalence of kinship care among African American children, which changed from 5.2 percent to 6.1 percent between 1983-85 and 1992-93. There was no increase for non-Hispanic whites and only a very small increase for Hispanic whites, from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent.

In this first section of the report, we will discuss:

  • How kin care prevalence rates differ by race and ethnicity (Hispanic versus non-Hispanic), age, sex, geographic region, and metropolitan status of residence.
  • The characteristics of children in kinship care and their families, how these characteristics changed between 1983-85 and 1992-94, and how the characteristics of children in kinship care differ from the characteristics of children in parent care; and,
  • How children in kinship care compare with children in foster care.

Who is in Kin Care and How Has It Changed?

Race and ethnicity. Kinship care is most prevalent among African Americans and least prevalent among non-Hispanic whites (see Table 1.2). In 1992-93, 6.1 percent of all African American children, but only 1.1 percent of non-Hispanic white children, were being cared for by a relative other than a parent. The prevalence for Hispanic whites, 2.7 percent in 1992-93, is higher than for non-Hispanic whites, but still substantially below the prevalence for blacks. (Sample sizes for other racial/ethnic groups are small.) Between 1983-85 and 1992-93, the prevalence of kinship care for blacks increased substantially, from 5.2 percent to 6.1 percent. For other groups, prevalence remained constant.

 

Age. The prevalence of kin care increases with age, from 1.3 percent for children aged 0 to 4 to 3.6 percent for children aged 15 to 17. The sharpest increase in prevalence is between age group 10-14 and age group 15-17; between these ages, the prevalence of kinship care increases from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent. Over the period studied, there are no major changes in the prevalence of kinship care by age.

Sex. There is no difference in the prevalence of kinship care for males and females.

Geography. Kinship care is substantially more common in the South (2.9 percent) than in the other three regions, the Northeast (1.9 percent), the West (1.7 percent), or the Midwest (1.5 percent). In 1992-93, kinship care is also somewhat more common in nonmetropolitan than metropolitan areas, 2.5 percent versus 2.0 percent. Over the period studied, prevalence rates did not change substantially for the regions or for metropolitan or nonmetropolitan areas.

Characteristics of children in kinship care: How have they changed, and how do they compare with children in parent care?

In the last section, we discussed how, within various groups, the percentage of children in kinship care changed between 1983-85 and 1992-94--for example, how the percentage of African American children in kinship care has changed. In this section, we discuss a related topic, how the characteristicsof children in kinship care have changed--for instance, how the percentage of kinship care children who are African American has changed.(1)

We compare changes in the characteristics of kin-care children with changes in the characteristics of parent-care children, focusing on changes that affected kin-care children more than parent-care children. We discuss three sets of characteristics: characteristics of the children (see Table 1.3); characteristics of the caretakers (see Table 1.4); poverty and use of services by the caretaking family (see Table 1.5).

Characteristics of children

Race and ethnicity. In the U.S. population overall, the percentage of children who are non-Hispanic whites is decreasing. This decline has been more dramatic for kin-care children than parent-care children (see Figures 1.1 and 1.2). In 1983-85, white non-Hispanic children made up the largest share of kin-care children, 46.6 percent, but this share had dropped to 36.2 percent by 1992-94. Over this period, non-Hispanic African Americans went from being the second-largest to the largest group in kinship care, from 38.1 percent to 44.3 percent. The share of kin-care children who were Hispanic white also increased, from 10.5 percent to 14.0 percent. Among children in parent care, white non-Hispanics continue to dominate, making up 73.1 percent in 1983-85 and 68.7 percent in 1992-94. The percentage of children in parent care who are African American has remained stable, while the percentage of children who are Hispanic whites has increased.

Age. In all four periods, children in kinship care were, on average, older than children in parent care (see Figures 1.3 and 1.4). For instance, 16.7 percent of children in kinship care in 1983-85 were aged 0-4 and 27.1 percent were aged 15-17 while, among children in parent care, 29.0 percent were aged 0-4 and 17.0 percent were aged 15-17. By 1992-94, however, the differences in age distribution had lessened slightly. Between 1983-85 and 1992-94, for both kin-care children and parent-care children, the percentage of children under 10 increased and the percentage of children aged 10 and older decreased, but this increase was greater for children in kinship care--especially among children aged 0-4. By 1992-94, 21.7 percent of children in kinship care were aged 0-4 and 23.5 percent were aged 15-17 while 29.8 percent of children in the care of their parents were aged 0-4 and 14.7 percent were aged 15-17.

Sex. There are slightly more boys than girls in all four periods for parent care and for all periods except 1992-94 for kin care.

Geography. In all four periods, the largest share of kin-care children lived in the South (48.6 percent in 1983-85 and 46.8 percent in 1992-94), with the remainder roughly evenly divided among the other three regions (see Figure 1.5). The largest share of parent-care children also live in the South, although the share is substantially smaller (33.7 percent in 1983-85 and 33.8 percent in 1992-94).

The proportion of both kin-care and parent-care children living in metropolitan areas increased between 1983-85 and 1992-94 (see Figure 1.6). For kin-care children, the percentage in metropolitan areas increased from 59.1 percent to 74.5 percent and for parent-care children, the percentage rose from 63.7 percent to 77.4 percent.

Caregiver characteristics

In 1989-91 and 1992-94, the only two periods for which we could ascertain the relationship between kin-care children and their caregivers, two-thirds of kin-care children were being cared for by one or both grandparents, usually a grandmother.(2)

As we discuss in this section, the caretakers of kin-care children are older and more likely to be single women--especially widows-- than the parents caring for their own children.

Children in kinship care are substantially less likely to be taken care of by both an adult man and an adult woman than children in parent care (see Figure 1.7). Although the proportion of children living in families headed by two adults has declined for parent-care children, the decline has been even sharper for kin-care children. Between 1983-85 and 1992-94, the percentage of parent-care children living in a family headed by a married couple declined from 76.5 percent to 72.4 percent; over the same period, the percentage of kin-care children in this type of family declined from 56.3 percent to 50.3 percent.

For children in parent care, there has been an increase in families headed by both single women and single men. There has been an increase in the percentage of kin-care children being cared for by single women--from 38.7 percent in 1983-85 to 43.8 percent in 1992-94--but little increase in the percentage being cared for by single men--from 5.0 percent in 1983-85 to 5.9 percent in 1992-94. Among kin-care children being cared for by a single woman, the largest group is those being cared for by widows (16.9 percent in 1983-85 and 15.2 percent in 1992-94). However, the percentage being cared for by divorced and never-married women is increasing, from 8.5 percent and 4.9 percent (respectively) in 1983-85 to 11.3 percent and 7.8 percent in 1992-94.

One of the most striking differences between children being cared for by their parents and children being cared for by other relatives is the age of their caregivers (see Figure 1.8). Among children who live with their mothers, in all four periods more than 95 percent have mothers under age 50. However, less than half of kin-care children with a female caregiver have a caregiver under age 50. In 1983-85, about half of these children had female caregivers under 50, about a quarter had female caregivers in their fifties, slightly less than 20 percent had female caregivers in their sixties, and more than 5 percent had caregivers aged 70 or older. As we have noted, since 1983-85, the average age of children in kin care has declined, but the opposite is true for their female caregivers. Since between 1983-85 and 1992-94, the percentage of kin-care children with female caregivers whose female caregiver is aged 50 or older increased from 50.5 percent to 56.6 percent. Similar patterns can be observed for fathers and male kin-caregivers.

Parents are better educated than kin-caregivers (see Figure 1.9). For instance, in 1983-85, kin caregivers were substantially more likely than parents to have dropped out of high school (47.9 percent versus 17.0 percent) and were substantially less likely than parents to have graduated from college (8.1 percent versus 23.7 percent). By 1992-94, the educational attainment of both groups of caregivers had increased, although the pattern of improvement differed. For parents, there were declines in the percentage of high school dropouts (from 17.0 percent to 14.2 percent) and high school graduates (from 36.0 percent to 30.8 percent), and increases in the percentage of those with some college (from 23.3 percent to 28.2 percent) and with college diplomas (from 23.7 percent to 26.8 percent). In contrast, among kin-caregivers, there were declines in the percentage of high school dropouts (from 47.9 percent to 42.6 percent) and increases in the number of high school graduates (from 29.9 percent to 32.7 percent), but little change in the number who had some college (from 14.0 percent 16.7 percent) or had college diplomas (no change at 8.1 percent).

Parents are more likely to be in the labor force than kin-caregivers (see Figure 1.10 and Table 1). In 1992-94, 83.0 percent of children in parent care had at least one parent who was employed compared with only 57.5 percent of children in kinship care. Children in kinship care are about three times more likely than children in parent care to live with a caregiver who is not in the labor force, 39.1 percent versus 12.4 percent. We only have information about the activities of caregivers who are not in the labor force for one period, 1983-85. Among those with a caretaker not in the labor force, children in parent care are more likely to have a parent who is either housekeeping or attending school; children in kinship care are more likely to have a caregiver who is either unable to work or "other/retired." These differences appear to reflect the older average age of kin-caregivers. The labor force status of both kin-caregivers and parents changed little over the four periods examined.

Poverty status and use of services

Kin-care children are more likely to be poor than parent-care children (see Figure 1.11). Far more children in kinship care are in families whose income is below the poverty line, 38.8 percent versus 21.4 percent in 1992-94. Far fewer children in kinship care than in parent care are in families whose income puts them above 150 percent of the poverty line, 44.1 percent versus 67.6 percent. Over the four periods studied, there has been little change in poverty status for kin-care and parent-care children.

In all four periods, children in kinship care are substantially more likely to be in families with no earned income than children who live with their parents (see Table 1.5). Furthermore, the percentage of kin-care children in families with no earned income has increased, while there was little change in the percentage of parent-care children in families with no earned income. From 1983-85 to 1992-94, the percentage of kin-care children in families with no earned income rose from 23.8 to 26.3, while the percentage of parent-care children in families with no earned income went from only 8.9 percent to 9.2 percent.

Children in kinship care are substantially more likely than children in parent care to be in families receiving government assistance (see Figure 1.12). In 1992-94, kin-care children were more than twice as likely as children living with their families to be in families receiving "public assistance or welfare" (27.0 percent versus 13.3 percent), were almost five times as likely to be in a family in which someone collects supplemental security income--SSI, a welfare program for the elderly and disabled poor (14.5 percent versus 3.0 percent), were twice as likely to be in a family in which the children receive free lunches at school (49.8 percent versus 25.4 percent), and are nearly twice as likely to be in public housing (6.7 percent versus 4.0 percent) or in a household receiving food stamps (31.2 percent versus 18.9 percent). In addition, kin-care children are more than five times more likely to be in a family in which someone receives social security (34.6 percent versus 6.4 percent) and two-and-a-half times more likely to be in a family in which someone receives disability insurance payments (3.6 percent versus 1.4 percent).(3)

The largest differences in program participation are in those programs aimed primarily at the elderly--SSI and social security--which is no doubt the result of the large portion of elderly caretakers.

For kin-care children, family participation in three government programs increased noticeably between 1983-85 and 1992-94: public assistance/welfare (from 21.1 percent to 27.0 percent), children receiving free lunches (42.0 percent to 49.8 percent), and SSI (10.1 percent to 14.5 percent). For parent-care children, family participation in these three programs also increased, although not as dramatically. This increase in use of government services is somewhat unexpected because, between 1983-85 and 1992-94, for kin-care children, there was little change in either the percentage in poverty (from 39.2 percent to 38.8 percent) or the percentage "near poor" (from 15.1 percent to 17.1 percent)--that is, at or above poverty but no more than 150 percent of the poverty line.

Children in kin care and children in foster care: Comparisons for 1992-94

Some children in kin care are also in foster care; that is, they are being cared for by relatives other than their parents, but they are under the authority of the foster care system in their state. Unfortunately, we cannot identify these children. Until 1988, children in foster care were not identified in the CPS. However, in identifying how children are related to others in the household, respondents must choose between identifying them as foster children or as relatives; there is no way to identify them as both. Our intuition--albeit, with no empirical basis--is that, if forced to choose between the two ways of identifying the children, adults who have had relatives placed with them as foster children will identify these children as relatives, rather than foster children. Our population of kin-care children probably, therefore, includes some children who are actually part of the foster care system.

In this section, we compare the characteristics of children identified in the CPS as foster children with children we could identify as kin-care children for the 1992-94 period. As noted, these are not clean comparisons because foster children being cared for by relatives can fall in either group. Foster and kin-care children have in common the unfortunate circumstance that their parents either cannot or will not care for them adequately. If our assumption about how related foster parents identify these children is correct, then the comparisons noted in this section will show how children placed with non-relatives compare with children who are being cared for by relatives, whether placed with these relatives by the foster care system or through other arrangements. Many of the differences in the living arrangements of foster and kin-care children probably arise from the requirement that foster parents meet certain criteria in order to have children placed with them. Informal kin-caregivers do not have to meet these requirements. Furthermore, in some states, relatives who become foster parents face fewer, or less stringent, approval or licensing requirements.

The most striking difference between foster care and kin-care children is one of magnitude: in 1992-93, there were an average of 1.4 million children in kinship care each year, compared with only approximately 200,000 children in foster care reported in the CPS. In 1993, there were actually 440,000 children in foster care nationally.(4)

Children in foster care being cared for by relatives is responsible for some, but not all, of this undercount of foster care children in the CPS. Other reasons for the undercount are not known at this time.

Characteristics of children

Race/ethnicity. Like kin-care children, a much larger proportion of foster children than parent-care children are members of a minority group (see Table 1.6). Equal proportions of foster and kin-care children are African American (42.8 percent versus 44.3 percent), but a much smaller share of foster children are non-African American Hispanics (14.6 percent versus 7.9 percent).(5)

Although an equal percentage of foster and kin-care children are African American, it is instructive to look at the number of African American children in each status: during the 1992-94 period, each year there was an average of 735,274 African American children in kin care, more than seven-and-a-half times the number in foster care, 95,030.(6)

Age. On average, foster children are younger than kin-care children. A much larger proportion of foster care children are aged 4 or younger (34.2 percent versus 21.7 percent), and a much smaller proportion are aged 10 or older (41.4 percent versus 53.2 percent). However, although children 4 and younger make up a higher proportion of children in foster care than in kin care, there are about five times more children aged 0 to 4 in kin care than in foster care, 356,510 versus 73,342.(7)

Sex. In 1992-94, for both foster and kin-care children a slight majority (51.7 percent and 50.6 percent) were females. In contrast, for parent-care children, a slight majority (51.3 percent) are male.

Geographic distribution. Like children in kin care or parent care, foster children are more likely to reside in the South than any other region. Compared with kin-care children, they are more likely to live in the Northeast (20.2 percent versus 16.2 percent) or Midwest (25.2 percent versus 18.5 percent), and are less likely to live in the South (39.3 percent versus 46.8 percent) and West (15.4 percent versus 18.5 percent). Children in foster care are somewhat more likely than children in kin care to live in nonmetropolitan areas (29.4 percent versus 25.5 percent).

Caretaker characteristics

For all the characteristics of caregivers examined--marital status, age, educational attainment, and labor force status--foster parents fall somewhere between kin-caregivers and other parents (see Table 1.7).

Foster children are substantially more likely than kin-care children to be cared for by a married couple (66.6 percent versus 50.3 percent), although still less likely than parent-care children (72.4 percent). A sizable portion of both foster and kin-care children are cared for by widows (14.6 percent and 15.2 percent), only 1.0 percent of parent-care children have widowed mothers.

Foster mothers are older than other mothers, but younger than female kin-caregivers. The largest age group for mothers is 30-39, for foster mothers is 40-49, and for female kin-caregivers is 50-59. The same pattern is observed for foster fathers, other fathers, and male kin-caregivers.

Foster parents are better educated than kin-caregivers, but less educated than other parents. For example, most kin-caregivers (42.6 percent) are high school dropouts, but this group makes up a very small proportion of foster parents (15.2 percent) or other parents (14.2 percent). On the other hand, foster care parents are less likely to be college graduates than other parents (18.3 percent versus 26.8 percent), but are substantially more likely than kin-caregivers (8.1 percent).

Foster parents are more likely to be employed than kin-caregivers (71.6 percent versus 57.5 percent), but less likely than other parents (83.0 percent). Conversely, they are more likely to be out of the labor force than other parents (26.6 percent versus 12.4 percent), but less likely than kin-caregivers (39.1 percent).

Poverty status and use of services

Of the government programs we examined, foster families are less likely than kin-care families to receive benefits from all programs except unemployment compensation (see Table 1.8). The largest differences in receipt of benefits are children's use of free school lunches (31.1 percent versus 49.8 percent), receipt of food stamps (15.0 percent versus 31.2 percent), receipt of public assistance or welfare (11.0 percent versus 27.0 percent), and receipt of social security (23.2 percent versus 34.6 percent). The pattern of receipt of benefits for foster families is similar to the pattern for regular families whose children live with them, although foster families are more likely to receive social security payments (23.3 percent for foster families versus 6.4 percent for other families).

Foster families are substantially less likely to be below the poverty line than kin-care families (23.1 percent versus 38.8 percent). Their poverty status is similar to families whose children are at home (21.4 percent). On the other hand, foster families are similar to kin-care families in that very high proportions have no earned income (22.3 percent compared with 26.3 percent, contrasted with 9.2 percent for intact families). As Table 1.9 illustrates, kin-care and foster families with no earnings are equally likely to be below the poverty line--76.4 percent and 76.3 percent, respectively. The difference in poverty rates for the two groups is entirely due to differentials among families with earnings. Among kin-care families, 25.4 percent of those with earnings are in poverty, compared to only 7.8 percent for foster families. The explanation may be that foster payments--which are not tracked in the CPS--are enough to push most foster families with earnings over the poverty threshold.

1. 0 The characteristics of children in kin care are affected by two factors: the percentage of children in kin care for various groups, and the characteristics of all children. Thus, there will be in increase in the percentage of children in kin care who are black if the percentage of children in kin care increases, if the percentage of all children who are black increases, or both.

2. 0 Until 1988, the CPS did not identify whether children were living with their grandparents unless the children were also living with one or both parents. Children were identified only as "other relative" of the head of family.

3. 0 Coverage by Medicaid could not be evaluated because of inaccuracies in the CPS Medicaid coverage data.

4. 0 Child Welfare League of America (1995). Child Abuse and Neglect: A Look at the States. Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, Table 2.1.

5. 0 Including black Hispanics in the Hispanic group rather than the black group does not change this finding.

6. 0 Note that, as discussed above, 1994 data are not completely comparable to earlier years for point estimates. When 1994 is excluded and 1992 and 1993 data are used, the yearly average number of all black children in kin care is 650,275 and in foster care 93,325.

7. 0 When 1994 is excluded and 1992 and 1993 data are used, the yearly average number of all children 0-4 years old in kin care is 258,878 and in foster care is 71,719.

Section II. Kinship Care and Child Living Arrangements in the 1990 U.S. Census

Census Classification of Child Living Arrangements

Another valuable national information source for describing children and their living arrangements is the decennial United States Census. The census provides the most comprehensive enumeration of the American population available, although this information is collected far less frequently than the Current Population Survey and other large sample surveys. The last national census was conducted in April, 1990, so the information it provides is now dated by over 6 years. In using data from the census to describe current patterns it is important to assess the chance that the characteristics and relations being examined have changed since the census was taken. As a rule, small-area data and information related to sectors that can fluctuate rapidly -- like the economy -- are the least likely to maintain short-term stability.

By law, the Census Bureau cannot distribute detailed household-based data as it is collected, as a protection of the people's privacy rights. Most of the publicly available data from the census is produced and distributed in the aggregate form of Summary Tape Files (STF). These extracts contain a broad range of fields, arrays, and cross-tabulations that give counts of population units (persons, families, households, etc.) across pre-defined arrangements of characteristic traits. The STF records are reproduced, in the same format, for many geographic levels and places -- nation, region, state, county, place, minor civil division, tract, block, Metropolitan Statistical Area, etc. The analyst can refer either to relationships between various data tables for one single geographic unit, or obtain similar data from many geographic units to compare variation across and within places.

The STF structure provides a relatively rich data structure concerning children, families, households, and the living arrangements of persons. However, for describing a population as specific as "children living with relatives -- parent not present", the topic of this project, only counts and rudimentary age characteristics are directly available for analysis from these tabulations. To define and describe the context of kinship caregiving, the following distribution of children was developed from the STF tables:

Own-Child with Two Parents Related Child, No Parent Present -- (Kinship Care)
Own-Child with Mother, Father not Present Unrelated Child
Own-Child, with Father, Mother not Present  

Care must be taken in interpreting these categories, as they compress a complexity of possible arrangements into a short and mutually exclusive list. For example, the "Own Child, with Mother, Father not Present" category is usually referred to with shorthand terms like "Mother Only," and is usually presumed to contain children in simple single-mother families. What defines this category is that the child's mother is present, and neither the natural father of the child nor a different husband of the mother is present. The household may contain grandparents, other adult relatives, a mother's "partner" or boyfriend, and other persons, but it is defined strictly by child-parent and(step-parent) relations.

Each of these categories is further classified into two age groups, for children ages 0-5 and children ages 6-17. The method for obtaining this categorization from the STF tables is described fully in Appendix 2. Details could be added to extend this classification. Each of the own-child categories can be divided into children in primary nuclear families and children living in parent-child subfamilies within extended households. Unrelated children can also be further divided -- into those living in household settings, those in institutions, and those in noninstitutional group quarters. Unfortunately, no information is available in the STF tables that will allow for more specific classification of the "related children--no parent present" group, which is of greatest interest here.

Two major qualifications regarding the accuracy of counts in these census living arrangement categories should be addressed here. The first is that all census counts are subject to some bias due to the under-enumeration of certain hard-to-locate population groups. Groups known to be systematically undercounted in the census include young adult minority males, homeless persons, resident aliens, and African American infants. Census undercount would affect the living arrangement data most seriously if the unenumerated children have systematically different living patterns than other groups.

The second accuracy issue has more direct substantive bearing. Recognizing the diversity of family and household structures employed by the American public in caring for our children, the census recently developed a very sensitive methodology for finding and properly classifying parent/child subfamilies that live within larger household units. Children in a nuclear family that live in a grandparent's home, for example, would once have been classed only as "relatives" of the household head, but they can now be identified in the more meaningful category of own-children in a "related subfamily.(8) Parent-child subfamilies are also recognized when they are "unrelated subfamilies," i.e. when the subfamily bears no direct kinship relation to the head of the household. However, any children now living in an "adult-relative and child" equivalent of a subfamily are not tracked as carefully. If this type of "kinship subfamily" has no marriage or kinship-based relationship to the defined head of the household where they reside, the children are probably identified by the census as "unrelated" members of those households.

Distribution of U.S. Children by Living Arrangement

Table 2.1 presents the national distribution of children in these living arrangement categories as reported by the 1990 census. At the national level:

  • Over 70 percent of the 63.6 million American children lived in households with two parents present. These could either be both natural parents, a birth-parent and a step-parent, or two adoptive parents. Clearly the two-parent family continues to be the modal care arrangement for children in the United States.
  • Almost one-fourth (23.9 percent) of all children lived with one parent, and the greatest share of these children lived with their mothers. The "one parent" category means that one of the child's natural parents is absent and the remaining parent has no spouse present, although other adults might be living in the household. Although changes over time are not shown in this cross-sectional data, increases in the number of single-parent families has been the dominant change in recent child living arrangement trends.
  • Just over 2 percent of all children, almost 1.4 million, lived in identified kinship care situations, with no parent present in the household. Kinship caregiving of children, while involving a substantial number of children nationally, must be seen in context as a phenomenon that occurs with relatively low prevalence in the full population.
  • Almost the same number, over 1.3 million children, were not living in relative care. These children lived either in households where they were unrelated to their caretakers, or in unrelated non-household situations, such as foster homes, institutions, or other group quarters.

Each of the three own-parent categories shows similar age composition, with just over one-third of the children being under 6 years of age. A slightly higher proportion of children in mother-only arrangement tend to be in the older (6-17) age category than children in the other two own-parent groups. In contrast, the related child and unrelated child groups contain a noticeably higher percentage of older children than the own-child groups. Only around one-fourth of these children are under 6 years of age, with the kinship group (23.6 percent ages 0-5) having slightly fewer young children than the unrelated group (26.1 percent ages 0-5). National living arrangement distributions for each age group are presented graphically in Figure 2.1.

By examining the full distribution of living arrangements instead of looking just at children living in kinship care settings, we can shift our frame of comparative reference. The conditional percentage of living in any of these arrangements, given that the child does not live with two parents, is shown in Panel D of Table 2.1. In this necessarily higher "risk" group, the percentage of children living with relatives approaches 8 percent. Similarly, children living in kinship settings comprise just over one-half (51.3 percent) of all children living in arrangements in which no parent is present (Panel E).

These national census data provide very little direct description of the kinship population other than counts and age groupings. These numbers are useful for identifying the size and level of kinship caregiving, but they do very little to help us better understand which children are involved in kinship care settings and how they differ from other children. It is particularly unfortunate that this census-based information is not classified by race/ethnicity, because the national CPS data have shown this to have an important influence on living arrangement types, including kinship caregiving.

State-Level Distribution of Living Arrangements

Although the census STF data provide little direct descriptive information about kinship care at the national level, they allow extension of this work through examination of variations observed within and across places. This section addresses the distribution of American child living arrangements at the state level.

The full distribution of child living arrangements for each state is presented in Table 2.2a-c both as counts and percentages. (Table 2.2a includes all children under 18 years of age, and the same information is shown in Table 2.2.b for children ages 0-5 and in Table 2.2.c for children ages 6-17). A brief inspection of the percent distributions will show a wide variation in the pattern of child caretaking across the states. The District of Columbia is a clear outlier, with just over one-third of its children living with two parents and almost one-half living in settings with a mother present and father absent. Across the fifty states, the percentage of children living with two parents still varies significantly, from 61.6 percent in Mississippi to 83.9 percent in Utah.

Looking at kinship care directly, the percentage of children who lived in the care of relatives in 1990 ranges from a low of 0.8 percent in both Minnesota and North Dakota to highs of 3.7 percent in Mississippi and 6.0 percent in Washington, D.C.. Although the differences between these kinship percentages is rather small, the proportional differences can be quite large. For example, a child in Mississippi is over four and one-half times more likely to live in a kinship care arrangement than is a child from Minnesota.

The same basic patterns are replicated in Tables 2.2b and 2.2c for the separate age groups. As was seen in the national percentage, the 0-5 age group is significantly less likely to live in a non-parental (relative or unrelated) setting than are children in the 6-17 year age group. Overall, the across-state variations for both age groups seem to mirror what was observed for all children in Table 2.2a.

Two features of the data in Table 2.2 stand out. First, the state-by-state distributions of child living arrangements show an apparent tendency to vary regionally, or at least, many geographically proximate states seem to have similar child living patterns. Second, each state's distribution appears to be dominated by the first living arrangement category, the number of children living with two parents. The values of all of the other categories are very much bounded, or restricted, by the percentage of children in two-parent homes. For example, because only 61.6 percent of Mississippi children live with two parents, 38.4 percent of the child population remains to be divided across the Mother Only, Father Only, Relative and Unrelated categories. In Utah, by contrast, only 16.1 percent of the child population fit into these categories. Because this "pool" of children who do not live with two parents varies so greatly across states, we need to be careful in interpreting direct numerical differences in the population percentages for the various categories across states. Although these raw population percentages accurately represent the final net impact of children living in a certain care setting, it is not as clear that they can usefully represent the processes and tendencies by which children come into these arrangements.

Table 2.3 presents the child living arrangement percentage data for states, now ordered within census regions instead of alphabetically. To aid in interpreting these patterns, this table also adds a new series of "conditional percentages" of children living in given arrangements. Columns (3)-(7) replicate the population percentages that were presented above in Table 2.2a, with the sole change that column (3) is modified to show the percentage of children not living with two parents instead of the percentage that do live with two parents. Columns (8)-(11) present the percentage of children in each of the other living arrangements, given that these children are not living in a two-parent family setting. These conditional percentages reflect our understanding that the original population percentages can be separated into two parts: the likelihood that a child lives without both parents, and the likelihood that a child living with less than two parents lives in the particular type of care arrangement. The formal mathematical relationship is represented by a simple equation:

Proportion(kinship care) = Prop (not/2 parents) * Prop (kinship | not2 parents)
Population proportion of children in kinship care Population proportion of children not living living with 2 parents Conditional proportion of kinship: i.e., proportion of those children not living with two parents who are in kinship care.

Thus, two states can have similar proportions of children living with relatives, yet have very different underlying relationships. For example, Arkansas and Louisiana are neighboring states that have similar (2.9 percent and 3.1 percent) population levels of children living in kinship care. However, in Arkansas, 28.6 percent of all children do not live with two parents, and 10.3 percent of these live in kinship settings. In Louisiana, 36.3 percent of all children do not live with two parents, but only 8.5 percent of these live in kinship settings. By the formula above:

Arkansas .29 = .286 * .103 and Louisiana .31 = .363 * .085

This formally expresses the relationships observed -- that although children in Arkansas are more likely than children in Louisiana to live with both of their parents, because a higher proportion of those not living with both parents are in kinship care settings in Arkansas, the two states have similar proportions of children in kinship living arrangements.

Although technically correct, this last description of this decomposition and the conditional relationship is fairly sterile and free of interpretive power. Introducing some inferences about the meaning of these components can help to bring more meaning to their relationship. In this vein, it shall be (provisionally) assumed that maintenance of two-parent care situations for children is both "preferable" and "preferred" in American society, and that the nuclear family is the primary care arrangement. The likelihood of a child leaving a two-parent family is very low, and the processes by which children do enter mother-only, father-only, relative, and unrelated care settings tend to occur only in the absence of (or disbanding of) the nuclear family unit. These other four categories appear then to result from processes that sort out children from a residual group that cannot be cared for in a two-parent living setting.(9)

Following this line of argument, the component presented in column (3), the proportion of children not living with two parents, will be loosely interpreted as representing the "level of family disruption," or the extent to which caring for children differs from that of the nuclear family. The "disruption" can result from parental breakup through separation, divorce, or death, or it could be the result of family "non-formation." But in the aggregate, this indicator will be held as a proxy for family disruption and disorganization. The conditional percentages in columns (8) through (11), then, can be interpreted as "tendencies" of children of disrupted family situations to locate, or to be located, in a given care arrangement. Returning to the two-state example discussed above, the relationship might now be described as Louisiana showing higher statewide levels of initial family disruption than Arkansas, but with Arkansas demonstrating a greater tendency to place the children from these disrupted families in kinship settings.

Column (12) presents a second type of conditional percentage, the percent of children living in kinship settings, given that they live with neither of their parents. This indicator directly measures the relative share of children in kinship versus unrelated living arrangements, assuming that they will live in either of these two types of arrangement.

The conditional percentages in columns (8) through (12) are necessarily higher than the comparable population percentages in columns (3) through (7) because they are computed from a smaller and more restricted population base. Because the numbers are larger, the absolute differences between these conditional percentages viewed across states tend to be larger than those observed with population percentages. At the same time, one effect of controlling for the variation due to "family disruption" has been to reduce the degree of proportional variation within these columns. A clear example is the District of Columbia, which for the most part shows conditional living arrangement percentages similar to those of its neighboring states. The reason D.C. is such an extreme outlier in its distribution of population percentages is almost entirely explained by the extremely high numbers of children not living with two parents, and not by its consequent placement tendencies and patterns.

Nationally, the percentage of children without two parents who live with their mothers-only varies across states from of 61.9 percent in Alaska to 75.7 percent in Louisiana. Similarly, the conditional percentage living with their fathers-only ranges from 9.8 percent in Washington, D.C. to 21.1 percent in Alaska; the conditional percentage living with relatives varies from 4.0 percent in Vermont to 10.3 percent in Arkansas; and the conditional percent with unrelated persons ranges from 4.6 percent in Alabama to 11.5 percent in Utah.

Clearly, regional patterns and regularities do exist in these data. Table 2.4 presents the same indicators, summed across states, for each of the four census-defined regions of the nation. The South has the highest "family disruption" level, with 30.5 percent of its children living without two parents, while the Midwest has the lowest levels at 25.5 percent.

The regional distribution of these children between alternative living arrangements, given that they are not with two parents, also shows clear patterns. The West has the lowest level of Mother-Only arrangements (64.9 percent), and the highest level of Father-Only (17.4 percent) and unrelated (9.7 percent) arrangements. The Midwest and Northeast have patterns similar to each other, with the highest levels of Mother-Only placement (73.6 percent and 73.2 percent, respectively), and low levels of Father-Only and kinship arrangements. The South shows the highest level of kinship arrangements (9.2 percent), the lowest level of unrelated placements (6.3 percent), and moderate levels for both single-parent only arrangements. The South is the only region where the level of kinship arrangements exceeds the level of unrelated arrangements.

Looking back to the individual state information in Table 2.3, we can see substantial variation remaining between the states within each region, but that the overall regional patterns remain evident. For example, West Virginia has the lowest conditional kinship percentage of any southern state, but at 8.4 percent it is larger than the conditional kinship percentage in all but two of the non-southern states (California and Hawaii).

It is not possible to explain these regional, or state, patterns from the data at hand. A variety of cultural, racial, economic and social influences vary by place -- and any or all of them might affect living arrangement patterns. The South has a higher concentration of African Americans and is more rural than the rest of the nation. The populations of the Midwest and Northeast are heavily urbanized. The West contains a higher proportion of recent immigrants and the largest Hispanic population. All of these factors and many others could contribute to these differences, and cannot really be pursued without better individual-level data. Even though explanation is elusive, systematic patterns of child living arrangements across these places provides evidence that the choices involved in how we care for our children are clearly linked to other social, cultural, and economic influences in our society.

State-based Correlation Analysis of Living Arrangements

It has been suggested in the above discussion that living arrangement indicators tend to vary across the states in systematic ways. This was particularly evident in the way that regional "patterns' seemed to be identifiable and persistent in these data. To examine the relationship between these living arrangements, and to draw some fundamental insight into their distribution, we performed a correlation analysis on statewide living arrangement indicators.(10)

This analysis uses three levels of indicators. Indicators 1 - 5 are population percentages of 1) children not living with two parents (family disruption), 2) own children living with mother, 3) own children living with father, 4) children relative (kinship) care, and 5), children living in unrelated care situations. Indicators 6 - 9 are percentages conditioned on less than two parents present for 6) own child living with mother, 7) own child living with father, 8) child living in relative (kinship) care and 9) child living in unrelated care situations. Indicator 10 is the percentage living in relative arrangements conditioned on no parents being present.

Correlation coefficients between each of these indicators are presented in Table 2.5, arranged in the format of a series of blocks (identified by letters) highlighting the three different levels of indicators being correlated--population percentages and two types of conditional percentages. The correlation is a measure of their mutual relationship between two variables, or the degree to which a change in the value of one variable can lead us to expect a change in the other. A correlation coefficient (r) can vary between 1.00 (a perfect positive relationship, where an increase in one implies an increase in the other) and -1.00 (a perfect negative relationship, where an increase in one implies a decrease in the other). When a correlation coefficient is 0.00, we say that the two variables are independent, that is, that information about value of one of the variables gives us no information about the expected value of the other. The square of the correlation coefficient (r2)is a statistical indicator of the actual amount of variation either of the variables can explain in the other variable.

Block A presents correlations of the "family disruption" indicator (percent of children not living with two parents) with the population-level percentages of the remaining four living arrangement types. The absolute percentages of children for both Mother-Only care (r=.97) and Relative Care (r=.89) are very strongly and positively correlated to the relative size of the available "pool" of children not living in two-parent families. Conversely, the percentage of children in Unrelated Care arrangements does not appear to co-vary significantly with the level of family disruption (r=.10).

Block B presents correlations between the population-level percentages for each of the alternative living categories. Strong positive relationships are evident in the correlation of Mother-Only and Relative care (.84), and in the correlation between Father-Only and Unrelated care (.63). Mother-Father and Relative-Father showed moderate positive relationships, while Mother-Unrelated and Relative-Unrelated showed no significant relationships.

The correlations in Block C represent relationships between the "family disruption" indicator and the conditional percentages of children in each living arrangement, given family disruption. This is an important set of relationships because, as we have seen, the final population percentages for these living arrangements are the product of the two percentages being correlated. The primary observed relationships here are a strong positive correlation (.71) between Relative Care and Family Disruption and a strong negative correlation (-.64) between Unrelated Care and Family Disruption. This can be interpreted as follows: as the presumed "pool" of children available for alternative care arrangements becomes larger (due to fewer children living in two-parent families), the likelihood that any child is in Relative Care becomes greater and the likelihood that any child is in Unrelated Care becomes smaller. This suggests that the increased "risk" of Relative Care caused by family disruption is further reinforced by an increasing likelihood of being in a relative arrangement. In the Unrelated Care case, increased "risk" is counteracted by a decreasing likelihood of being in an unrelated care arrangement. The conditional correlation between Mother-Only care and Family Disruption is positive but not statistically significant. Thus, while we saw in Block A that the percentage of children in mother-only care is clearly dependent on the level of family disruption, this finding suggests that the rate at which mother-only arrangements occur does not change significantly with the number of children at "risk." The correlation between Father-only and Family Disruption is mildly negative.

Skipping to Block E, we see correlations among the conditional percentages of moving to each arrangement given less than two parents. Here we see a very strong negative relationship between Mother-Only and Father-Only (-.93), strong negative relations between Mother-Only and Unrelated (-.73) and between Relative and Unrelated (-.59), and a strong positive relationship between Father-Only and Unrelated (.73). At this level of conditional likelihood, kinship care is independent of Mother-Only care, has a very weak negative relationship to Father-Only care, and a strong negative relation to Unrelated Care.

Block D, in the center, represents the correlations between the population percentages and the conditional percentages of each arrangement. All of the coefficients along the diagonal are positive, as a higher conditional percentage contributes to a higher population percentage. For Relative Care, this joint coefficient is very high (.94) because, as we have seen, these two percentages tend to increase together. The remaining coefficients in the table are mostly rather strong and follow a distinct pattern. Overall, the Mother-Only and Relative Care percentages vary together positively, the Father-Only and Unrelated Care percentages vary together positively, and the Mother-Only and Relative Care percents both vary negatively with the Father-Only and Unrelated percents(11).

Blocks F, G, and H introduce the second type of conditional percentage, that of being in a relative care arrangement given the condition that no parent is present. It is most readily interpreted as representing the Relative-Care versus Unrelated-Care dimension. This number is necessarily positively related to each of the other Relative Care percentages and negatively related to the Unrelated Care percentages. What is of interest is its strong positive correlation to the population percents of family disruption (.78) and Mother-Only (.80), and moderate positive correlation to the conditional percentage for Mother-Only care (.39).

The clear implication of this correlation analysis is that, at the state level, kinship care arrangements appear to be a response attached to what we have termed "family disruption," measured by the percentage of children not living with two parents. This "disruption" can be a product of either the nonformation or the breakup of families. Kinship care levels also are seen to co-vary closely with levels of Mother-Only care, while the relationships between these living arrangements and the percentage of children in Unrelated and Father-Only care arrangements tend to be weak or negative. It appears from these findings that the processes or conditions that lead children into the Unrelated and Father-Only care arrangements are different, and often in opposition to, the processes and conditions that lead children to Mother-Only and Relative care arrangements.

(8)" This is an important substantive distinction. Child living arrangements are often reported by relationship to the household head. The 1994 Current Population Survey estimated that over 5.4 million American children lived in households headed by grandparents or other nonparent relatives. Of these children, only 43 percent (or 2.1 million) did not have a parent present in the household. Therefore, what we here call "kinship care" represents significantly fewer than half of the population of children living in households headed by relative adults.

(9) The interpretation that the two-parent nuclear family is "primary" and other arrangements "residual" is not empirically justified, and these data cannot support such a causal inference. Rather, this is an inductively grounded organizing principle, which is subject to future empirical examination and revision. The working hypothesis is that children are most likely to remain in nuclear families unless those families are disrupted. An ancillary hypothesis would imply that children are more likely to remain with a single parent than either relatives or strangers if the parent-child living arrangement is not disrupted. A single-parent home is considered more likely to be "at-risk" of disruption than a two-parent home, other things being equal, so we would expect a significant amount of adaptive caretaking to occur around children living with one parent only. Clearly some children live outside of a parental unit for reasons other than disruption of the household (e.g. protective removal, institutionalization, school choice, etc.), but these factors should not have a disproportionate effect of the overall pattern of living arrangements.

(10) It is important to notice that this is an "ecological" analysis that examines the relation between properties of state distributions of child living arrangements. Conclusions cannot be casually assumed to apply at the individual level. Also, it should be noted that Washington, D.C. has been excluded from this correlation analysis to remove the extremely skewed influence of its population-level indicators.

(11) The sole exception to this pattern is the conditional percent in relative care having a weak positive relationship to the population percentage in Father-Only Care.

Section III. Formal and Informal Kinship Care: Levels and Patterns in Four States

Formal and Informal Kinship Care Arrangements

Up to this point, the kinship care relationship has been described as a single category. However, one of the main reasons kinship care has drawn interest from policymakers and program administrators is the recent growth of one particular subset of kinship-caregiving relations -- kinship foster care, or formal kinship care. The emergence of formal kinship care as an important policy topic gives rise to many questions. Are kinship arrangements that are formally sanctioned and supported by state child welfare systems fundamentally different from informal kinship arrangements? Do different types of children (or caregivers) become located in formal versus informal kinship settings? Do children move between these two kinship care types, or do children tend to track into one or the other?

Empirical investigation of the use of formal and informal kinship arrangements has been inconclusive, largely due to serious constraints in the data available for analysis. As discussed earlier, there are multiple national data sources that provide information about the prevalence, distribution, and characteristics of children living in kinship care situations. The Current Population Survey, for example, provides detailed estimates of the population of children living with relatives as well as estimates for a population of children defined as "foster children." But, because there is no way for a child to be simultaneously identified as a relative and as a foster child, children in kinship foster must necessarily be lumped into one of these broader categories, either as a relative or a foster child. Our presumption is that most kinship foster cases are defined in the CPS by their "kinship" status instead of by their "foster care" status, so we would expect that the foster care category is comprised mostly of those children living in non-relative foster family placements. This leaves us with no representative national data source that discriminates kinship care cases between "formal" and "informal", and with no national data sources that will allow us to discriminate between "relative" and "non-relative" foster care.

The key population that must be enumerated, then, in order for these comparisons to be made is the "kinship foster care" group (also called "formal" kinship). Once this group is identified, it can readily be compared to the overall kinship care population to provide (by simple subtraction) a means of separating the total kinship care population into informal and formal subgroups. Similarly, the kinship foster care group can easily be contrasted to the total population of children in foster care to differentiate the kinship and non-relative foster care subgroups.

Although this information is not available from any known national data source, it can be obtained for four of the states that report to the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive Project, managed by the Chapin Hall Center for Children. Based on comprehensive individual-level tracking records of children in foster care, the Archive currently can identify kinship foster care cases in California, Illinois, Missouri, and New York. Some personal and case characteristics are available to describe each child in these formal kinship placements, and the use of kinship care placements can be evaluated in context of its role in a child's complete foster care history. It is worth noting that this information is not available for every state that participates in the Archive. Michigan, for example, uses kinship care fairly extensively, but these cases cannot be recognized through their data system in the cases where the placement is arranged by an independent provider agency. Formal kinship care in Texas, in the sense of paid foster care placements, is fairly rare and not specifically flagged in the tracking system. What is unusual about kinship care practices in the Texas child welfare system is a widespread reliance on "semi-formal" kinship care arrangements. As in other states, a child is frequently placed in the care of a relative while the child legally remains in state conservatorship (custody). Unlike most other states, the relative caretaker typically receives no foster care payments or support. Because this arrangement so clouds the line between formal and informal care, and because the few paid kinship placements known to exist cannot be identified in the data records, Texas was not included in the following analysis.

Kinship Foster Care in Four States

The growth in kinship foster care has been one of the more closely watched trends, and hotly discussed topics, in child welfare over the past decade. Where available, the numbers verify that rapid changes in kinship caregiving have indeed occurred. Figure 3.1 portrays recent foster care caseload growth in California, Illinois, Missouri, and New York, and breaks this growth into kinship care and non-related placement components. While the patterns for the individual states differ in interesting ways, the important role of kinship care in foster care caseloads is apparent. In New York and Illinois, kinship placements were clearly the "growth sector" of foster care, either leading or absorbing (depending on interpretation) most of the rapid growth that occurred in each system during the observed period. In California and Illinois, kinship care either almost equals or exceeds other forms of foster care in frequency. In all four states, kinship care has grown at a more rapid pace than other types of foster care. However, none of these states showed a decrease in non-relative foster care cases during the period of growth in kinship foster care, implying that there is no apparent process of simple movement of foster care cases between classifications.(12) Only two observations can be made from these four graphs that suggest the growth of kinship placements might soon approach some limit. First, although it has increased in recent years, the level of kinship care has remained much lower in Missouri than in the other three states. Second, New York State has actually seen a reduction in the size of both components of its foster care caseload from 1991 through 1994.

In most of the analysis that follows, kinship foster care will be addressed at its April 1990 levels in order to allow direct comparison to the enumerated counts from the 1990 census. This is necessary because the census is the only stable and reliable source of information on the comparison population of interest, informal kinship care, across places. When discussing a clearly dynamic phenomenon, analysis based on examination of a single cross-section potentially involves some loss of information. Because our real interest is in the present (1996) and future, the question is whether analysis of 1990 patterns can tell us anything about current relationships. Looking at the four graphs in Figure 3.1 we can see that, in terms of the overall relation of kinship foster care to non-relative foster care, the 1990 levels are similar to the post-1990 levels in each state except Illinois. Although there is no assurance that other attributes of these groups have not changed, their overall levels have maintained the same basic relation across the 5 year interval. In Illinois, the kinship foster care population grew by over 150 percent between 1990 and 1994, so some additional information will be necessary to allow us to consider how the 1990 findings developed here might be relevant to current issues.

State Formal and Informal Kinship Care Populations

By adding new information obtained directly from the foster care case records held in the Archive, the census-based living arrangement categories described previously in the analysis of living arrangement patterns in fifty states can be extended in several ways. Most important for this work, the counts of children in kinship foster care for April 1990 can be subtracted from the count of children living with relatives that was enumerated in the 1990 census to derive a new count of informal kinship cases. Thus, the "related child" group described in the previous section can now be divided into two subgroups: a formal kinship group -- those children observed in kinship foster care through the Archive data; and the residual informal kinship group -- those children living in relative settings who are not observed in kinship foster care. In a similar fashion, we have broken the "unrelated child" category into two parts -- non-relative foster care and other unrelated children.(13) These operations can be performed for any geographic or substantive subgroup for which the census and Archive both track data. For this analysis, we have tabulated informal versus formal kinship for four states, the counties within those states, and for the 0-5 and 6-17 year age groups within each of these geographic areas.

Table 3.1 presents these modified living arrangement data for each the four study states. These numbers are fundamentally the same as the state numbers in Table 2.2a, except that the detail within the relative and non-relative categories is expanded here using the new information extracted from the foster care data systems in each state. Across these four states, which together include over 16 million children (or over one-quarter of the U.S. child population), we observe that almost 400,000 children lived in kinship care settings in 1990, with the preponderance (331,521) in informal kinship care. A substantial, but much smaller, number (61,023) lived in formal kinship foster care placements. The same basic relationship describes the children living in unrelated care situations, where formal non-relative foster care represents only a modest share of the total children who were housed and cared for by unrelated individuals. Thus, while child caretaking through non-parental living arrangements is a relatively uncommon phenomenon (over 95 percent of all children in these states live with one or more parent), the number of children living in each of the four "atypical" care arrangements described here is still substantial.

Living arrangement patterns can be compared across these four states with percentage distributions. Panel B of Table 3.1 shows that the allocation of children across the non-traditional living arrangements varies in the four states being examined. Missouri had very low levels of formal kinship care in 1990 ( 0.5 children per thousand), while New York had levels over ten times as high ( 5.0 children per thousand). In each of the four states, informal kinship care was a more probable care arrangement than formal kinship care. Missouri, Illinois, and New York showed similar levels of informal kinship care (between 17 and 19 children per thousand), while California had a slightly higher level higher level (23 per thousand). The basic state patterns observed for kinship care are once again reflected in unrelated care arrangements, with New York having the higher prevalence of formal child welfare (foster care) arrangements with non-relatives and California having the highest level of non-relative placements arranged outside of the formal foster care system.

Age and Statewide Levels of Care Arrangements

All comparisons of formal versus informal kinship care must be based on information that is available both through the census data and the Multistate Foster Care Archive, because the informal kinship population can be observed empirically only by joining these two data sources. Although a number of characteristics describe the children in kinship foster care, the only personal characteristic that is available to us from the census data to describe the children in kinship living arrangements is their age, defined within two broad categories. Tables 3.2a and 3.2b present the same four-state population of children described in the previous table, now divided into two subgroups -- children 0-5 years of age and children 6-17 years of age.

The overall structure of child living arrangements is similar across states and between age groups. In each of the four states, the preponderance of children live with one or two parents -- the combined four-state percentage of children living with one or more parents is 96.3 percent for ages 0-5 and 94.5 percent for ages 6-17. Older children are slightly more likely to live in a mother-only situation than are younger children, while younger children are slightly more likely to live with two parents or in a father-only arrangement than are the older children.

More marked differences between age categories begin to appear when we look at the distribution of children living in kinship and unrelated settings. Overall, formal foster care placements are used less frequently than informal (or other) care arrangements in both relative and non-relative settings. There is higher prevalence of formal arrangements for children in the younger age group. For the four states combined, 0.49 percent of 0-5 year olds were in formal kinship foster care as opposed to 0.31 percent of 6-17 year olds. Similarly, there is higher prevalence of informal arrangements for children in the older age group. For the four states combined, 2.5 percent of the 6-17 year olds were in informal kinship arrangements as opposed to only 1.2 percent of 0-5 year olds. Figure 3.2 shows prevalence rates (per 1,000 children) by age group for formal and informal kinship care. In each of the four states, informal kinship arrangements for children 6-17 are approximately twice as prevalent for children ages 0-5. In contrast, the prevalence of formal kinship care arrangements is greater for the 0-5 age group in all states except Missouri (where both levels are very low). Clearly, this represents a patterned response to children's care needs in which the youngest children are more likely to be placed in kinship arrangements under the auspices of the formal child welfare system.

Figure 3.2 demonstrates another attribute of kinship care in these four states. Although the fundamental relationship between the children is age, and kinship care type is persistent, this chart also portrays clearly what does and doesn't vary across states. The higher prevalence of informal kinship care in both age categories is markedly constant for these four states. For 0-5 year-olds, it varies only between 10 per thousand in New York to 13 per thousand in California; and for 6-17 year olds between 20 per thousand in Illinois to 29 per thousand in California. In contrast, while the basic age relationships within the formal kinship foster care category are maintained across each state (except Missouri), the prevalence levels for formal kinship care vary widely. The formal kinship care prevalence in New York was over ten times as great as in Missouri, twice as great as in Illinois, and over one-third as large as in California.

The absolute levels and age composition of children in kinship care arrangements observed here across these four states suggests, in the absence of other contextual information, that the many social forces, pressures, and trends that resulted in children living in these alternative care arrangements have acted similarly in these four parts of the United States. However, we also see that these cross-state similarities do not fully hold for the subset of children in formal kinship foster care. Although the basic age relationship observed for formal kinship care tends to be constant across states -- the relative size of the formal kinship population varies between states more than the informal kinship population does. A simple explanation would be that while overall kinship levels result from general social processes and trends that affect children similarly in each state, the specific response of establishing and supporting formal kinship foster care arrangements is highly dependent on local child welfare policy and practice considerations, which can vary across states. This topic will be addressed again as new information is explored.

We have observed that older children are substantially more likely than younger children to live in informal kinship arrangements, that younger children are somewhat more likely than older children to be in formal kinship arrangements, and that each age group is more likely to become engaged in informal rather than formal kinship care. It should be noted that these two population groups do not equally divide the total child population -- indeed, the 0-5 year group contains only just over one-third (36 percent) of the child population. Although the comparative prevalence rates discussed above are analytically most instructive, they do not directly address the actual population impact of these processes. Figure 3.3 presents the actual distributions of kinship care by age and type for all children living in any kinship situation. Because the 6-17 year age group is most likely to live in an informal kinship setting, and is almost twice the size of the 0-5 group, we can see that the net results are numerically dominated by older children in informal arrangements.

Within-State Patterns: Counties and Regions

In the same way that census and administrative foster care data can be combined to allow examination of child living arrangements separately in four states, data from these sources can produce similar information for smaller geographically defined places within each of these states. As was the case with decomposition of formal and informal kinship along substantive lines (e.g. age groupings above), disaggregation of these populations requires that the same criteria be available for both census and the Archive data. The census data can be mapped to many different local-area levels, but the geographic information currently available in the four-state foster care data is organized at the county level. Thus, while census data limited substantive decomposition to two age groups, the Archive data provided by the state agencies limits the geographic decomposition to counties.

The initial plan for this analysis was to systematically compare the formal and informal kinship care levels for counties within each state to search for patterns in their variability that could help us gain insights into cross-state regularities and within-state patterns. Other census-based areal indicators of such factors as ethnic distribution, poverty levels, employment, etc., were to be employed in this investigation. The living arrangement information for counties in each of these four states is presented as Table 3.3. Within each state, the counties are ordered by child population, from largest to smallest. Because some of the counties have very small populations, care must be taken in interpreting the rates and percentages for these places.

Initial inspection of county kinship care patterns revealed one overarching finding: not only are formal and informal kinship care distributed unevenly across places within these four states, as we might have expected, but the practice of kinship foster care is almost exclusively limited to the primary urban areas in most of these states.(14) This is most clearly the case in New York, where over 95 percent of all kinship foster care placements involve children from New York City. In Illinois, the use of kinship foster care is also highly localized, with 69 percent of the state's formal kinship placements in Chicago. Although Cook County, including Chicago, had over 6,800 kinship foster cases in 1990, the county with the next-largest frequency was St. Clair County (East St. Louis, IL) with only 213 cases.

Of the four states observed, the only one showing significant levels of kinship foster care in areas away from the primary urban place is California. Los Angeles County, containing 30 percent of the state's children, generates almost half (47 percent) of the kinship foster care placements. But, formal kinship care remains fairly common in a number of the other larger urban counties -- San Diego, Sacramento, Alameda (Oakland), and others. The prevalence of kinship foster care in this group of counties ranges from about one-half to two-thirds of the 6.1 per thousand level observed in Los Angeles. San Francisco County has the highest rate of kinship care prevalence in the state--at 11.8 children per thousand, it is almost double the rate in Los Angeles.

Although the lack of variance in formal kinship care precluded a full ecological analysis of counties for the four states, we have attached a few county-base indicators, including race/ethnicity, which would have been used for such an analysis, in Appendix 3. Most of the California counties with higher kinship foster care prevalence also have the largest percentage of African American children (Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Los Angeles), and African American children are indeed over-represented in their formal kinship caseloads. Only one California county with a high African American population, Solano County, has very low kinship foster care rates. California is also characterized by a large Hispanic population. The levels of informal kinship care tend to be higher in counties with larger proportions of Hispanic persons-- such as Imperial, Tulare, Fresno and Los Angeles Counties.

Outside of California, county-based analysis of formal versus informal kinship patterns is not instructive because almost all of the areal variation in formal kinship is explained by location in the primary urban place. Instead of forcing an implausible method on these data, the analysis has been simplified to examine the differences observed between these primary urban places and the remainder of each state. Summary state totals and subtotals for "primary urban place" and "balance of state" are presented at the bottom of each state subtable in Table 3.3.

Figure 3.4 presents age and care-type prevalence rates separately for the primary urban place and the "balance"of each state. The relationships shown in these graphs confirm the earlier finding that formal kinship care levels are either extremely small or virtually nonexistent in the balance of each state. Even in Missouri, a state with very low levels of kinship foster care, this population is concentrated in St. Louis. Only California shows any substantial amount of formal foster care outside of the primary urban place, and levels for the rest of the state are still much lower than those observed for Los Angeles County. A second observation is that levels of informal kinship care are consistently higher in the primary urban places than in the balance of each state. A final observation can be made by examining only the upper chart in Figure 3.4 -- the graph for the primary urban counties-- as these are the only places where both formal and informal kinship arrangements occur with any regularity. In all four large cities and within each age group, there is apparently a strong inverse relation between the levels of informal and formal kinship care. That is, when informal kinship is relatively high, formal kinship is relatively low, and vice versa. This is most apparent in the 0-5 year old age group. For example, St. Louis, Missouri shows the highest level of informal kinship (24 per thousand) and the lowest levels of formal kinship (2 per thousand) for young children. Conversely, 0-5 year olds in New York City have the lowest observed levels of informal kinship (12 per thousand) along with the highest levels of formal kinship (19 per thousand). Los Angeles and Chicago are each mid-range for both types of kinship care. A similar relationship, though not quite so strong, exists for the 6-17 year olds.

This inverse relation between the prevalence of formal and informal kinship care in the cities has potentially important implications. Although observations from four places do not provide overwhelming evidence, there is clear suggestion here of a possible substitutability relationship between formal and informal kinship care. Overall kinship care rates for both types (formal and informal) combined are remarkably similar across the four cities: for 0-5 year olds they vary between 26 and 31 per thousand; and for 6-17 year olds, they vary between 41 and 46 per thousand. What is different is how these cases have been sorted between informal arrangements and formal foster care placements in different cities. The fact that a formal response is most likely to be invoked in New York City and least likely in St. Louis is objectively clear in these numbers. What is new is the tentative hypothesis that the response, and not the underlying condition, differs between places. This finding suggests that the children being placed in kinship care arrangements are fundamentally similar in these cities, and that differing public actions (due to policy, casework practices, etc.) create the variation in informal versus formal kinship levels. Factors such as local court decisions, agency placement priorities and payment guidelines, and federal reimbursement claiming strategies might be the more productive basis for understanding levels of kinship foster care, per se, than underlying social causes.

Race, Urban Places, and Formal Kinship Care

We have documented differences in the profiles of the support systems created to care for children who end up living in homes where they are cared for by someone other than one of their parents. Although some of these differences are related to the age of the child and the type (formal versus informal) of care provided, the clearest contrasts observed so far have involved the type of place in which the child lives. The primary cities in each state show higher levels of both formal and informal kinship care than other places in these states. We can only hypothesize about the factors underlying this fundamental difference. The largest cities include substantial concentrations of persons in poverty, disproportionate numbers of minorities, and, when considering formal kinship care, huge child welfare agencies and court systems straining in their capacity to handle growing and complex caseloads. Our largest cities have shown many symptoms of social dislocation; problems such as unemployment, drug use, crime and violence, teenaged parenthood, etc. occur in much greater magnitude, if not more frequently, in large urban places.

The national analysis of children in kinship care (Section I) presented evidence of clear racial differences in the likelihood that children will live with relatives other than a parent. (See Table 3.4). Overall, the combined CPS panels for 1989-91 showed 6.2 percent of African American children living in kinship situations, as opposed to 2.4 percent of Hispanic children, 1.2 percent of white children, and 2.1 percent of the children of Asian, Native American, and other backgrounds. However, the data as reported in Section I, do not provide a cross-classification of race and region. Using information from published 1994 CPS results, we have computed the following breakdown for the likelihood of living in all kinship care (formal and informal) for American children ages 0-14 by age, race/ethnicity, metro/non-metro status, and age category.(15)

Within each age-racial/ethnic group, the nonmetropolitan percentages for kinship care either equal the metropolitan percentages or exceed them by up to one-third. Observed age differences are also relatively small, and seem to have an effect only among all Hispanics and metropolitan African Americans. The racial effect that clearly persists, both across age groups and across metropolitan/nonmetropolitan places, with African American levels averaging about five times higher than white levels and about 2.5 times higher than Hispanic levels.

Census tabulations of children living in kinship care unfortunately do not include any racial/ethnic categorization, so the influence of this factor cannot be directly introduced for consideration in comparing formal and informal kinship care for four states. However, ethnic classifications are part of the descriptive information in the records of each child tracked by the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive, and we can identify the race/ethnicity of each child in a formal kinship foster care placement. So, examination of the extremely important racial/ethnic distribution can currently be made only for the formal component of the kinship care population. It is unfortunate that the informal/formal comparison cannot be analyzed fully along ethnic lines. In the remainder of this analysis, we will simplify comparisons by discussing race only in terms of African American and "all other races."

Table 3.5 presents several types of information that help us examine levels of kinship foster care participation by ethnicity/race and by region of the state. The observed levels of kinship foster care for race-region subgroups, measured by prevalence rates per 1,000 children, are presented in the bold box at the center of Table 3.5, and are portrayed graphically in Figure 3.5. It is once again clear that kinship foster care is most common among African American children and in the largest cities. The highest race-region specific rate observed is in Los Angeles, where 28.5 of each 1,000 African American children are in kinship foster placements. The formal kinship prevalence rate among African American children in New York City is the next largest at 21.2 per thousand. In each state, the lowest rates are those for "others" (not African American) in the "balance" of the state. Observed rates for this group (the largest in population size) are as small as 0.2 children per 1,000 in "Upstate" New York. This provides a striking contrast -- the kinship foster care prevalence level for non-African Americans in Upstate New York is less than one one-hundredth of the level observed for African American children in New York City.

In California and Illinois (and probably Missouri), the race effect is the more dominant of these two factors. Within each regional category, an African American child is eight to ten times more likely to be in a kinship foster placement than any other child. In Chicago, where almost one-half the total child population is African American, African American children comprise over 90 percent of the kinship foster care population. As a result, almost two out of every three kinship foster cases in Illinois are African American children from Chicago. It is significant that in both California and Illinois, African American children living in areas outside of the primary city (i.e. in the "balance of the state") are still more likely to live in kinship foster care settings than are the "other" (non African American) children living within the primary city.

New York presents a different pattern. Although both African American ethnicity and a New York City location are each related to higher levels of kinship foster care,the "city" effect appears more dominant. In New York, the city rates for both racial groups are relatively high, while the upstate rates for both racial groups are low. Non African American ("other") children living in New York City are four times more likely to be placed in kinship foster care (8.4 per thousand) than African American children from "upstate" (2.2 per thousand) -- a relation unique among the four states examined.

Because the actual number of children in kinship foster care can be viewed as the net result of a process that applies these race-region specific rates to the race-region specific populations, we must consider the influence of population composition on the final net result. These "marginals," fully independent of any kinship foster care patterns, provide the context within which the differential tendencies suggested by the prevalence rates can operate. The percentage of children in each state that live in the defined "primary urban place" varies from a low in Missouri where St. Louis contains only 7.6 percent of all children in the state, to a high in New York City where almost 40 percent of the state's children live. Racial composition also varies widely between and within states. About one of every eight children in Los Angeles is African American, compared to about one in three for New York City, one in two in Chicago, and almost two in three in St. Louis. African American children are far less likely to live in the remaining portions of any of these states, with the "balance of state" percentages varying from a low of 6.9 percent in California to a high of 9.6 percent in Missouri.

(12) Much more information about kinship dynamics is available from Archive data. Kinship arrangements are likely to be established fairly early in a child's foster care experience. Apart from the earliest short-term temporary custody placements, most children in kinship foster care placements tend to be "pure" kinship cases, and most children in non-relative placements tend to be "pure" non-relative cases. There is not a high level of movement in between the two statuses. Also, kinship cases tend to have a much longer duration than other foster care. See Goerge, Wulczyn, Harden (1993, 1994) for more detailed Archive reporting.

(13) This "other unrelated children" group, which we use here to describe all unrelated children who do not live in foster care, can also be further subdivided. For all children 0-17, it is possible to differentiate "non-relative family foster care," "child welfare placements in congregate care facilities," "other children in institutional settings," "other children in group quarters," and "other unrelated children living in households."

(14) The "primary urban areas" have been defined as follows for the purpose of this work: Los Angeles County in California, the city of Chicago in Illinois, Saint Louis City in Missouri and New York City in New York. These delineations are somewhat arbitrary and they could be quite arguable. However, the concentration of kinship foster care within these areas is so dramatic that issues of precision are rendered moot.

(15) These numbers are based on computations from document P20-484,Table 3. It should be noted that the "Metropolitan" category is much more broadly defined than our construct of "primary urban place", and includes much smaller cities and suburban counties. Also, children 15-17 are not included in this tabulation.

Section IV. Formal and Informal Kinship Care Dynamics in Illinois

Limitations of the available data sources have severely hindered our capacity to describe and analyze the characteristics of children living in kinship care settings. As seen in Section I, large national samples such as that drawn for the Current Population Survey do provide detailed characteristics for individual children living in kinship arrangements. However, because kinship living rarely occurs in the general population, the resulting sample sizes for children in this category do not encourage detailed comparison much beyond univariate description at the national level. Although data from the 1990 decennial census are built on a much broader sampling base, the public-access tabulations produced from the census provide minimal detail. They classify the full range of child living arrangements only by two wide age categories, children 0-5 and 6-17 years of age.(16) Census data can be extracted for many different geographic places, and analyzed in the context of other characteristics associated with those places, but such ecological inference poses its own limitations and potential pitfalls.

As we have seen in the previous section, the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive provides some individual-level information on the children living in formal kinship and non-kinship foster care settings in four states. This information enabled us to separate the formal kinship foster care component from the larger "relative care" category of the census in four states, and to separate all non-relative foster care from the broader "unrelated child" category of the census. But, in order to consider the differences between children living in formal and informal kinship arrangements, it is also necessary to obtain information of a similar quality describing the population of children living in informal kinship care. Such data has not been located from existing sources.

In lieu of a comprehensive data source, we take an initial step towards the formal-informal comparison here by introducing information drawn from one special sub-population of children in Illinois, namely those who recently received public services in the form of AFDC grants or foster care. Over one-quarter of all children living in the care of relatives in Illinois in 1990 received AFDC grants paid to the kinship care household, and over one-eighth of the relative care children in the state were in formal kinship foster care. Child recipients of AFDC and foster children are clearly not representative of the kinship care population as a whole. But this group contains a substantial proportion of Illinois's children in kinship care settings and it can easily be construed as a most important segment of the kinship care population from the vantage point of informing public policy.

The primary reason for choosing this population for study is simply that data describing it is available. Individual case records for AFDC children living with kinship caregivers (parent absent) is available from the Child Multiservice Database at Chapin Hall. Facing an extreme paucity of available information in this area, the capacity to draw comparisons at all is a significant improvement.

Illinois AFDC Data

The information presented here is drawn from an archive containing full histories of all AFDC grant cases from 1990 through 1995. The data points analyzed here are based upon an extraction of records for all children who were active recipients in an AFDC grant case in any of six successive annual June cross-sections. The history of the grant unit itself can be traced fully between these June time-points, but the actual attachment of the individual to the grant during the unobserved time must be inferred. The use of annual cross-sectional pulls inevitably implies that some child participation in the AFDC program is missed entirely, such as when a grant is both opened and closed during the 10-month time period between any July and the following May. Given certain constraints, we believe that the group of cases developed for this analysis presents a relatively accurate picture of the Illinois child AFDC population. As will be seen in the following analysis, even though we are missing some of the rapid "on-and-off" movement that occurs with some welfare participants, there is a marked overall continuity and stability in the welfare histories of the children we observe.

For each AFDC-recipient child, we can identify their age, ethnicity, geographic area, gender, program participation (Medicaid, Food Stamps), and relationship to the official grantee. We can also identify the same information for the grantee, all recipients in the grant unit, and some other persons associated with the grant unit. Because individuals often move between grant units, and grant units often split apart or reform into new grant units, a careful unduplication of child records was pursued to insure that each child history is complete (to the extent possible), and that the same child does not appear multiple times in the data just because he/she received benefits under different grant units. For analysis, children were restricted to persons between the ages of 0 and 17. Even if grant support continued beyond the eighteenth birthday, 18-year-olds were excluded from this analysis, because the custodial nature of care is redefined when a child reaches the age of majority.

A "relation to the grantee" field was used to obtain a preliminary classification of children into "parent" cases, "relative" cases, and "other" cases. All relationships coded as parent, mother, father, step-parent, etc. were classed as parent cases, and those classified as grandparent, aunt/uncle, sibling, cousin, etc. as relative-only cases. After this initial classification, each relative case was screened specifically for the presence of a "credible mother" in the grant unit.(17) For the purposes of analyzing kinship care, we assumed that classification errors in the direction forcing a few "relative-only" cases into the "parent" population should have much smaller potential corrupting effect on our conclusions than would result from classifying a number of parent-present cases into the "relative-only" population. Not only are "relatives" are the focus of study, the pool of relative cases is also much smaller than the pool of parent cases.(18)

Analysis of Illinois Living Arrangement Groups

The child cases examined here appear in either the AFDC or Foster Care tracking data between 1990 and 1995. At any specific point in time, a child can be classified uniquely as being enrolled in one of four program statuses -- AFDC Parent Grant, AFDC Relative Grant, Kinship Foster Care, or Other Foster Care.(19) The populations of children tracked in these statuses in each successive June is presented in Table 4.1.

The two most important categories for this study are the AFDC/Relative and the Kinship foster care groups. The Kinship foster care group (Kin/FC) is a complete enumeration of the formal kinship care population of Illinois during the period of study. This population has been expanding rapidly. The number of children in kinship foster care increased from 8,150 in June 1990 to 27,054 in June 1995, a cumulative growth of over 230 percent across the 5-year period. Although this explosion of kinship foster care in Illinois is far more dramatic than the experience of most other states where these trends have been monitored, a general pattern of growth in kinship care is one of the dominant national trends observed in child welfare in the early 1990s.(20)

The AFDC/Relative group is a non-random subset of the informal kinship care population of Illinois, which might best be described as "semi-formal" because of their reliance on some public supports. The U.S. Census in 1990 estimated that 56,793 children in Illinois were living in the care of relatives with no parent present in the household. Subtracting the children who were in formal kinship foster care from this total leaves 48,643 children in informal kinship care. The AFDC/Relative group numbered 16,058 in June 1990, almost exactly one-third the size of this estimate of the state's informal kinship population. Unlike the formal kinship population, the size of the AFDC/Relative group has remained virtually unchanged between 1990 and 1995.

Size Trends: The AFDC/Relative population has remained stable at about 16,000 children between 1990 and 1995, while during the same period the Kin/FC population has grown over 230 percent, from 8,150 to 27,054. In comparison, the AFDC/Parent population grew 12 percent and the FC/Other population grew by 71 percent. These relations suggest several preliminary findings. The increase in formal kinship care in Illinois during the early 1990s was not apparently part of a general shift to kinship care that extended outside of the child welfare system. The increase in formal kinship was not paralleled by a decrease in informal AFDC/Kinship, which some had predicted. Finally, we can see that formal kinship is associated with (and probably pacing) an overall growth in Illinois child welfare that is reflected in the remainder of the foster care population.

Characteristics of Children by Living Arrangement

Tables 4.2 through 4.4 present distributions of certain characteristics among these two populations and several important comparison groups for time points in 1990 and 1995. The comparison groups available include all children active in an AFDC/Parent grant and all children living in Other (unrelated) Foster Care. Also, for 1990 only, the census estimates for all children in kinship care with no parent present, and an enumeration of all children in Illinois are available. We use all four groups as benchmarks by which to understand different aspects of the characteristics of children in formal (Kin/FC) and informal (AFDC/Relative) kinship care in Illinois.

Table 4.2 has three sections. The upper panel is a tabulation of counts of children in the four programs, in June 1990 and June 1995,(21) subclassified by a number of characteristic traits (region, age, race, gender, and race/region). The middle panel presents percentage distributions within each group, across these characteristic traits (e.g. the percentage of AFDC/Relative children who were ages 6-11 in 1990). The lower panel presents trait-specific prevalence for each program compared to the larger reference child population. For example, .9 percent of Cook County children were in AFDC/Relative settings in 1990, and 14.0 percent of all 6-11 year-olds in Illinois were recipients in an AFDC/parent grant in 1995.

Size: In absolute size, the AFDC/Parent population with over 400,000 clients dwarfs all of the other groups being discussed here. About 15 percent of the children in Illinois received an AFDC grant through a parent at any one time between 1990 and 1995. At no time in the period of study did any of the other groups include as much as 1 percent of the children in the state, although the foster care programs are each approaching that number.

Age: Using three 6-year age groups for comparison, the AFDC/Relative group is clearly older than the Kin/FC group and each of the other comparison groups in Table 4.2 (including all Illinois children). One-fourth (26 percent) of the children in AFDC/Kinship care are under the age of 6, compared to around 40 percent of the Kin/FC population and almost half (48 percent) of the AFDC/Parent population. The evidence that informal kinship care is more likely to be utilized as a caretaking response for older related children is further substantiated in Table 4.3, which imputes age and regional characteristics for the NON-AFDC informal kin group for 1990. Within this "unobserved" remainder of the Illinois informal kinship group, only 20 percent of the children are under the age of 6. The age composition of the formal Kin/FC group is almost a mirror image of the AFDC/Relative group with just under one-quarter of these cases falling in the older age group. The "youngest" group among those observed here is the AFDC/Parent category.

Gender: The levels of either type of kinship care have not appeared to vary by gender of the child. Among the groups described, only FC/Other appears to have a small gender gap with males, at 53 percent, being slightly more prevalent than females.

Region and Race: Compared to the child population of Illinois, all service-receipt defined groups described here are disproportionally African American and disproportionally located in Cook County (including Chicago) rather than in the balance of the state. These two effects are difficult to disentangle because while Cook County contains 43 percent of the state's child population, it includes almost three-fourths of Illinois's African American children. By 1995, all four programs observed were composed of almost two-thirds (or more) African Americans and almost two-thirds (or more) Cook County residents.

Overall, the kinship-based programs showed a slightly stronger racial pattern than comparable non-kinship programs. (Figure 2.1) For example, in 1995, an African American child was about ten times more likely to be in an AFDC/Relative setting than any other child, both in Cook County and across the rest of the state (2.2 percent versus 0.2 percent). In comparison, an African American child was only about five to seven times as likely to be in an AFDC/Parent setting (49.5 versus 10.0 percent in Cook, 41.3 versus 6.2 percent in rest of state).

Race has the greatest effect on the Kin/FC group. In 1995, over 5 percent of African American children in Cook County were in kinship foster care, while less than one-fourth of 1 percent of non African Americans were in kin foster care settings, a ratio of 20:1. The race ratio for Kin/FC in all downstate areas combined was 11:1.

For AFDC/Relative and FC/Other, there is no evidence that the higher levels in Cook County are anything more than a reflection of the racial differences observed above being applied to the racial composition of the state. In both cases, the Cook County prevalence is similar to the downstate prevalence within each racial category. The AFDC/Parent category shows a consistent tendency towards prevalence levels about one-fourth higher in Cook County, independent of race. However, the Kin/FC category, which showed the strongest race component, also shows a strong region effect independent of race. African American children in Cook County are three times more likely (5.0 versus 1.7 percent) to live in kinship foster care than African American children elsewhere in the state. Similarly, other-race children in Cook County are twice as likely (.24 versus .11 percent) to live in kinship foster care as other-race children elsewhere in the state.

In summary, it appears that AFDC/Relative cases (informal kinship) are directly influenced by race, with incidence among African American about ten times higher than other groups combined. Kin/FC in Illinois shows an even stronger racial component, which is intensified by an independent tendency for Kin/FC levels to be higher in Cook County. As a result, kinship foster care is very much a Chicago and African American dominated phenomenon in Illinois, the net result being that by 1995, 86 percent of kinship foster care placements were in Cook County and 86 percent of kinship foster placements were African American children. (See Figure 4.2).

Imputing characteristics for the "unobserved" informal kinship population

Table 4.3 follows the format of Table 4.2, but for a much shorter list of characteristics and different comparison groups. For the most part, this Illinois analysis is based on the premise that the Illinois AFDC/Relative population is representative of all informal foster care in the state. With Table 4.3, we start to indicate where the biases in such an assumption may reside. This table starts with the 1990 census tabulations for the numbers of children living in households with relative caregivers and no parent present. By subtracting the AFDC/Relative population and the Kin/FC population from this total, we are left with counts of the "residual" informal kinship population.

This "unobserved" group contains 57 percent of the kinship care population of Illinois for 1990. We assume the percentage would become smaller by 1995 (because of the rapid growth of Kin/FC), but cannot guess whether the Kin/FC cases were likely to have been drawn from this "unobserved" group or from children living in own-child of parent relationships. Only a slight majority of the Non-AFDC informal population resides in Cook County -- this group includes only one-half of Cook County kinship care children and over two-thirds of kinship care children from the remainder of the state. Finally, as referred to above, this group contains an even smaller percentage of children ages 0-5 than the AFDC/Relative group.

We can observe that this "unobserved" informal kinship group includes children who tend to be older and less "urban" than the AFDC/Relative group. Because they are not program participants, we can assume that in the aggregate this population has at least a somewhat greater access to financial support. We can make no inferences about race, gender, or more detailed age characteristics.

Household Composition and Caretaker Characteristics: AFDC/Relative versus AFDC/Parent

Compiling Illinois AFDC data at the individual level offered the opportunity to compare certain characteristics of the AFDC/Relative population to the AFDC/Parent population. Although neither group represents the broader kinship and own-parent child populations, they comprise a significant segment of each of these, and clearly represent segments of the kinship and own-parent populations with which the public sector is involved.

Table 4.4 presents counts and percent distributions for characteristics of the households these children live in, and the key caretakers in those households, for 1990 and 1995. This household or caregiver data information is counted for each child, so a household with two children of the appropriate type will be counted twice. Certain "child-only" cases that were included in Tables 4.2 and 4.3 have had to be excluded from this table because the detailed descriptive information was not available in their records.

Over one-third of AFDC/Relative children live in households that also include own-children of the key caregiver. In contrast, almost two-thirds of the AFDC/Relative children live in households where the key caregiver has no own-children present. Thus, a significant segment of these related children are being blended into existing parent-child families. However, the majority of children in relative grants either cause a "new" family unit to be formed, or initiate "successor" family groupings created after an earlier generation of children has already left the household.

Almost half of the AFDC/Relative households include two or more adults, compared with only one-fourth of AFDC/Parent households. In both types of household, the key adults are preponderantly female, although one in ten is male in a relative-grant household and one in twenty in a parent-grant household. A relative child's caregiver is more likely to have been married at one time than a parent-grant caregiver, but is no more likely to be currently married with a spouse present.(22) All these characteristics suggest that some AFDC/Relative households might have access to more social and possibly financial resources than the typical AFDC/parent household. This makes intuitive sense because while both programs were developed to support the child, the AFDC/Relative case is often defined by the resource limits of the non-caregiver parent, in contrast to the AFDC/Parent case which is typically defined by resource limits of the caregiver parent.

The characteristic that most clearly differentiates AFDC/Relative and AFDC/Parent cases, though, is the age of the primary caregiver. (See Figure 4.3). For AFDC/Parent cases, 89 percent of the key adults were younger than 40 years of age, and only 1 percent were 50 years of age or above. In contrast, for AFDC/Relative cases just over one-third (37 percent) of the key adults were younger than 40, about 40 percent were over 50, and 16 percent were over 60. This is explained primarily by the fact that almost four out of every five relative-child caregivers are the child's grandparents. The aging of some members of this relative caregiver population (median age in the mid-40s,) clearly limits the social and possibly financial resources available for the caring of children in some households.

Movements of children between living arrangements over time

Records for individual children receiving AFDC grants in Illinois have been matched to records from the Foster Care tracking system through probabilistic record-linkage procedures. This process identifies those children who have had contact with both public systems, with the result that any child's foster care events can be joined directly with that child's AFDC events to create a combined "welfare-career" history. The population studied includes all children who were AFDC recipients and/or foster children any time between June 1990 and June 1995.

Using this linked file, we examined the interrelationship between the AFDC and foster care populations of Illinois, and identified and analyzed the transitions of children that do (or do not) move between contacts with these two systems over time. In this analysis, we are particularly interested in information that helps to characterize the formal and informal kinship populations. In the previous section, we considered some of the characteristics of these populations. Here, we can start to describe where the children in each type of kinship care come from, how likely they are to shift program auspices or care arrangements, where they go when they leave kinship care, and whether the same children tend to become involved in both informal and formal kinship living situations.

The movements among living arrangements are examined by considering annual transitions between living arrangement categories as identified by the yearly June cross-sections compiled from 1990 through 1995. As with the previous analysis, each child can be classified by one of the four program categories -- AFDC/Parent, AFDC/Relative, Kin/FC, and FC/Other. For the dynamic analysis, we also classify inactive participants into one of three non-program categories -- Not Yet Born, Aged Out (18+), or Out of Scope. "Out of Scope" is a residual category, invoked when none of the other six statuses apply. In many cases, this reflects a positive situation; such as when a child is living with his or her own parent(s) in economic self-sufficiency. But, the "out-of-scope" does not necessarily imply a positive setting, it just means that the child is currently not involved in either of the two programs being tracked.

Data describing annual transitions of children between these categories is presented in some detail in the Appendix to this section. For clarity, most of the information presented here is based on a pooled average of the five separate June-to-June transition periods. For the most part, data pooling has the effect of stabilizing and simplifying the results, without distorting them.(23)

Table 4.5 presents the basic transition matrix for the AFDC/Foster Care categories. Each cell represents the average number of children living under the arrangement described on the left (row label) in one June, and, who then lived in the arrangement described at the top (column label) in the subsequent June. The cells along the diagonal, shaded for easy recognition, contain cases of net non-transition -- children living in the same class of living arrangement in both the initial and the subsequent June. Each cell off of the diagonal represents a particular group of "movers" and each cell on the diagonal represents a certain type of "stayers.(24) We should read Table 4.5 with statements like "there was an average annual movement of 317 children from AFDC/Relative homes to Kin/FC placements," or, "of 430,955 children who receive AFDC in their parent's care in one June, 328,945 are still active as AFDC/Parent cases in the following June."

Transition rates "from" a status: Table 4.6a converts the counts from Table 4.5 into annual transition rates: the proportion of children that start in their prior status and that end up in their subsequent status. Close examination of Table 4.6a suggest that this annual "transition" matrix is indeed dominated by "stayers." The stationary tendency of these living arrangement groups is apparent because the proportions in each cell along the diagonal is over .700, meaning that over 70 percent of these children can be expected to end the year in the same type of living arrangement where they started the year; 70.5 percent of AFDC/Relative children and 79.6 percent of Kin/FC children are "stayers" in the average year. Movement between these statuses is infrequent: the most likely transitions observed are to "age out" and "out-of-scope." The largest transitions between program categories are .070 from AFDC/Relative to AFDC/Parent and .079 from FC/Other to FC/Relative, with both types being shifts within the same agency.

The transition rate of children from AFDC/Relative to Kin/FC is twice as large as that from AFDC/Parent to Kin/FC. This suggests that living in kinship arrangements outside of the foster care system increases the likelihood that the child will move to foster care kinship placements. But the magnitude of these transitions -- each less than 2 percent/year -- is much smaller than might have been expected based on arguments posing that a process of "inappropriate" substitution of Foster Care for AFDC has fueled the growth of kinship foster care in Illinois. This evidence, based as it is on annual net transitions, cannot convincingly deny the substitution argument, particularly if the hypothesized living arrangement status changes from "other" to "AFDC Kin" to "Foster care kin" would be expected to occur very quickly. In the absence of fully longitudinal event data, it suggests that this pattern of event processes is probably rather uncommon. Clearly there has not been any widespread movement of long-term AFDC/Relative cases into Kin/FC.

As might be expected given the high proportion of "stayers," the evidence suggests that kinship placements -- especially formal foster care placements -- are unlikely to lead to reunifications with own-parents of the child. The "observed" reunifications here are transitions to AFDC/Parent, while the "unobserved" reunifications are an unknown subset of the "out-of-scope" category. An average of 7 percent of AFDC/Relative cases shift to AFDC/Parent annually, compared to only just over 3 percent of Kin/FC cases. About twice that many from each group shift into the out-of-scope group, which includes own-parents not on AFDC, kin placements not on AFDC, moves out of Illinois, or placement in any program not tracked here (mental health, detention, etc).

The same information is shown in Table 4.6b, focusing on changes by looking only at the proportionate distributions of "movers" across the destination status. Of those children who leave AFDC/Parent, over 9 in 10 either age out (.102) or move out (.825) of the domain of programs being tracked. Formal and informal kinship groups are somewhat more intertwined with other program categories. About one-third of AFDC/Relative "movers" and over one-half of Kin/FC "movers" shift to other program settings.

Composition by source: Table 4.7a presents the same basic transition information once again, but reverses the viewpoint of Table 4.6a. Instead of looking at rates of transition forward from one status to another, this table looks backward in time, decomposing the population of each status by where its incumbents lived the previous June. The "aged out" category is logically replaced by a "not yet born" category to represent infants who enter one of these programs during their first year. As with Tables 4.5 and 4.6a, this table is dominated by the stationary cases -- the "stayers" along the diagonal. Two-thirds to three-quarters of the children in each program group had been in the same living arrangement status during the previous June. This table also suggests that even though a small proportion of the children in these care relationships moved from one of the other categories within the year, the AFDC/Parent population is clearly the most significant "feeder" to the other three programs.

The dynamics of these changes are more easily viewed in Table 4.7b, which presents the same composition by previous status information, but only for those children -- the "movers" --who made a transition in the previous year. Looking across the first row, we see that 43.2 percent of the children who moved into AFDC/Relative and 50.3 percent of the children who moved into Kin/FC lived in an AFDC/Parent arrangement the previous June. In contrast, there is very little net movement observed between the informal and formal kinship groups themselves -- only 1.2 percent of AFDC/Relative children moved from Kin/FC and 4.6 percent of Kin/FC cases moved from AFDC/Relative.

Children who move into the informal kinship group come almost entirely from the AFDC/Parent (43 percent) and out-of-scope (47 percent) categories. This group has the smallest proportion of newborns (8 percent) and receives very few (less than 2 percent) of its new cases from the foster care groups. Over half the children who move into the formal kinship group (Kin/FC) come from the AFDC/Parent group. Another one-third are from the out-of-scope and newborn groups. In contrast to informal kinship, a substantial (though not large) proportion of the formal kinship cases come from either FC/Other (11 percent) or AFDC/Relative (5 percent). Clearly the children in formal kinship care arrangements are historically more connected to the public support system than children in informal kinship arrangements.

The main dynamic apparent in Tables 4.7a and 4.7b is the size of the impact that the AFDC/Parent population has on the composition of these other program categories. Because the population of children receiving grants through parents is so much larger than any other groups examined here, even relatively small proportional transitions from AFDC/Parent cases result in very substantial proportional flows of children into either AFDC/Relative or either foster care status. In the discussion of Table 4.6a we noted that the likelihood of an individual child making the transition from AFDC/Relative into formal kinship was twice as great as the likelihood of transition from AFDC/Parent into formal kinship. However, because the AFDC/Parent population is so large, the aggregate number of cases coming into Kin/FC from AFDC/Parent is larger, over ten times larger, than that coming from AFDC/Relative arrangements.

The apparent contradiction between lower likelihoods and higher net impact is fully explained by the relative sizes of the base populations, and the numbers presented here provide a direct way of visualizing these relations. One clear implication is that even very small shifts in the pattern of movement of children from the AFDC/Parent living arrangement category produces very large impacts on the flow of cases to the three smaller groups.

Composition of 'mover' and 'stayer' Groups

The preceding section showed that informal and formal kinship groups demonstrate different patterns of transition -- whether viewed by where they tend to come from before they enter the kinship setting, by what type of living arrangements they move to at the end of their kinship stay, or by their likelihood of remaining in place in the current kinship home. Here, we examine some demographic characteristics of the various kinship transition groups to see what can be learned about how different types of children might be expected to have different career patterns. Table 4 .8 is divided into four panels presenting region, age, and racial percentages for each transition (or non-transition) subgroup of children that move from AFDC/Relative (Panel A), into AFDC/Relative (B), from Kin/FC (C), or into Kin/FC (D). In each sub-table, the leftmost numeric column is the distribution of children who do not move -- the "stayers," which can be used as a reference group against which to look for differences for those children that change living arrangement status.

Age: The children remaining in informal kinship (AFDC/relative homes) from year to year tend to be older than children moving from AFDC/Relative to formal foster care placements (Kin/FC), and older than those who return to own-parent AFDC homes. This can be seen in Panel A, where only 25 percent of the AFDC/Relative "stayers" are ages 0-5, while 35 percent of the AFCDC/Rel->Kin/FC group and 50% of the AFDC/Rel-->AFDC/parent group are ages 0-5. The ages of children moving "out-of-scope" resemble the AFDC/Relative "stayer" group. Only the small group of children moving into FC/Other appears to be systematically composed of older children.

The same pattern of age relationships applies with minor variations to children moving into informal kinship, as well as those moving into and out of formal kinship arrangements (Kin/FC). Overall, the bulk of the movement between these categories involves younger. Older children tend more often to either stay in their current living situation or exit the program domain that we can observe. The one exception is FC/Other (non-kinship foster care) which tends to "send" young children to other programs, but which is unusual in that it "receives" a disproportionate share of older children from the kinship categories (particularly from the Kin/FC group).

The more rapid circulation of younger children (in and out of kinship placements) suggests these children's early years are most likely to be typified by disruptions, uncertainties and change. As the child ages, the living situation tends to stabilize along one or more of many dimensions: clarity about whether or not the birth parent might resume care, an understanding of the willingness and capacity of the relative to maintain caregiving, and evaluation of whether the program niche (formal versus informal) seems workable. It is telling that as kinship relations (of either type) end for some reason during a child's adolescence, the likelihood of entering a non-relative foster care placement increases. This suggests that other settings are less likely to remain feasible as options by this stage in the child's life.

Race and Region: The racial and regional composition of transition groups follows patterns that could, for the most part, be predicted from the overall compositions of the program groups. Both the AFDC/Relative and Kin/FC groups are disproportionally composed of African American children and children who live in Cook County. As was noted above, there is a particularly strong joint effect of race and region for the Kin/FC group, so that almost 80 percent of kin foster care placements were of African American children in Cook County.

Of the children moving from AFDC/Relative placements to Kin/FC, 87 percent were from Cook County and 91 percent were African American. The AFDC/Relative "stayers" were 68 percent Cook and 76 percent African American. Only movers "out-of-scope" were significantly lower, with 56 percent Cook and 66 percent African American. Looking to children in kinship foster care, the "stayers" were 88% in Cook County and 88 percent African American, with all "mover" groups somewhat lower.

Relationship: The relationship between the child and kinship caregiver can be identified only for the AFDC/Relative population. The great majority of these informal kinship caregivers are grandparents (78 percent), with most of the "other" category being aunts. In Panel A of Table 4.8, we can see a slight tendency for grandparent-child living arrangements to stay more intact from year-to-year than arrangements where the child lives with other relatives. The other-relative arrangements are somewhat over-represented in moves to non-kinship foster care and in moves to the unobserved "out-of-scope" statuses.

(16) The "own children" tables can be classified by employment characteristics of parents and subfamily composition, and the "all related children" tables can be classified by poverty status -- but these cannot be directly compared or linked together because one is grouped by "parent" characteristics and the other by "head of household" characteristics.

(17)Anecdotal evidence pointed to the possibility that young mothers and their children are frequently lumped into grant units where the adult recipient is a relative of the mother. A "credible mother" was defined as a minor female, more than 13 years older than the child in question, with a relation to the grantee that would be consistent with the child's relation to the grantee. Thus for a 2-year-old who is the grandchild of the grantee, we would search the list of household members for "daughters" of the grantee between 15 and 17 years of age. There is no way to confirm that this "credible" female is actually the child's mother, and there are many possible scenarios where she would not be. However, two considerations led us to preemptively force the classification of "parent" on this type of case. First, these determinations were strongly corroborated by a data field that indicated whether or not a mother had been present at the child's entrance to the case. We found very few "credible" mothers in cases where the mother had not been present, and we did find "credible" mothers in the majority of cases when a mother had once been present. Second, analysis of these "credible mother" present cases shows that a new mother-child grant unit is often formed within the next few years, suggesting that the anecdotal information is, at least in the aggregate, often correct.

(18)In certain "child-only" cases, the grant support is provided to payees who receive only on behalf of the custodial child and who are not active recipients on the grant themselves. Unfortunately, because of their non-recipient status in the case, most key demographic information for these caretakers is not coded or maintained by the state agency. Thus, these cases are not included in discussions of household and caretaker characteristics. Fortunately, they represent a fairly small share of the Illinois AFDC population during the period of study.

(19) "Other foster care" includes all foster care activity that is not defined as "kinship" foster care, e.g. non-relative family foster care, emergency shelter care, and congregate care placements.

(20) cf. A Report from the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive: Foster Care Dynamics 1988-1992 Chapin Hall Center for Children 1994.

(21) Data for the intermediate years is available, but only the end-years were presented to simplify presentation. No internal patterns were noticed to suggest that the additional years would contribute substantive changes to interpretation.

(22) The marital status tabulations both contain a substantial "unknown" category, and this reporting is based on the partial information remaining.

(23) The main dynamic that is hidden by this pooling of data from five sets of annual transitions has already been described, namely, the extremely rapid growth of kinship foster care in Illinois. Although the size of transitions into Kin/FC do reflect the growth of this group between 1990 and 1995, we have observed no real changes in associated trends or patterns apart from the overall shift in incidence.

(24)" "Stayers", in particular, must be understood as being defined by a ?net' outcome. A certain amount of movement in between the June points of observation is not captured in this analysis, and the fact that a child was in a living arrangement in both Junes does not require that the child did not experience two or more moves in between.

Section V. Summary, Observations, and Suggestions

The information that has been presented in this report is neither complete nor sufficient -- indeed, it only starts to address the questions that we feel must be answered in order to understand the increasingly important subgroup of American children that are being cared for by relatives in the absence of a parent. The limitations of this report should stand as yet another signal that too much of the raw information that we need to understand the present conditions, patterns, and trends among children in our society is not available for analysis. Our capacity to make long-term policy decisions suffers greatly when we only partially understand the realities of the present.

Caveats aside, we also believe that the information contained in this report significantly extends our understanding of the nature of kinship caregiving in the United States and, in many ways, should serve well as a starting point and guide for continued progress in the development of knowledge on this topic.

Summary

We have shown that kinship caregiving is not an unique or isolated social phenomenon, but rather that it pervades of all sectors of society. While the case of each specific child carries its own human story, the processes that bring children into kinship care arrangements are embedded in the much broader context and overall patterns of American family life. The term "breakdown" is probably premature, but the primacy of the traditional two-parent family has declined significantly over the past several decades-- through increases in both family non-formation and family dissolution. At the aggregate level, a strong positive relationship between the prevalence of children living in the care of relatives and the prevalence of children living in single-mother families extends across all regions of the nation. Both caregiving types appear as symptoms of, and adaptations to, family disruption. Interestingly, the prevalence of other adaptations of the traditional family form, such as single-father families and children living with non-relative caregivers, do not vary in a similar systematic way, but rather seem to result from an independent set of processes.

Children in kinship care and their related adult caregivers differ from the general population in many ways -- some of which we could demonstrate with available data. The population of children in kinship care is over-representative of children of color, even while the numerical majority of them are white. Older children are more likely to live within kinship care arrangements than are younger children. The adult kinship care providers are older than parental caregivers (about two-thirds are grandparents). They are also much more likely to be poorly educated, outside of the labor force, below or near the poverty level, and recipients from public programs than are parental caregivers. In the aggregate, the persons who are caring for their related children are an economically and socially marginal class or subgroup, without access to many personal resources or to the means to bring influence to bear on behalf of themselves or the children in their care.

When we turn to investigating the relation between the formal and informal kinship care groups, the picture becomes somewhat more vague. In part, this is because the comparisons were made on scanty information and in only four states (CA, IL, MO, NY). The clearest observation was that, while informal kinship arrangements appear to operate in a similar fashion in each of these four states, the utilization of formal kinship foster care varies widely. The state with the highest incidence of formal kinship care in 1990 (New York) had a rate over ten times as large as the state with the lowest incidence (Missouri). In New York and Missouri, kinship foster care arrangements existed almost exclusively in the primary urban county, and California was the only state where there was substantial use of kinship foster care outside of the central urban place. These results suggest that while informal kinship is an adaptive response to general social conditions, formal kinship is far more a creation of local policy, agency practice, and conditions that affect the administrative operation of governments.(25).

We do see some differences between the children cared for in formal and informal kinship arrangements. Even where formal kinship is common, the informal kinship care population is still much larger. Among formal kinship cases, it is the younger kin-care children -- children under the age of five years -- that are more likely to enter the foster care system, doing so at almost twice the level of older children. In contrast, older children are far more likely to be in informal kinship arrangements than are the younger children. African-American children are disproportionally likely to be cared for in both formal and informal kinship arrangements, but only formal kinship care is also a disproportionally urban phenomenon. The modal attributes of children in formal kinship care -- being very young, African-American, and highly urban -- combine to produce a highly visible and compelling group. The modal child in informal care -- being white, older, and non-metropolitan -- is less likely to draw public attention.

All of the relations, trends, and processes described above merit close observation in the near future. The potential influence of changes in our welfare system under TANF has led to much conjecture about the future role of kinship care (both formal and informal) as current program recipients exceed their time-limits or are sanctioned from further receipt for other reasons. Many technical issues, such as whether the new rules should even apply to relative caregivers, and whether time-limits should be measured for child recipients as well as for the adult grantees, are actively being debated in state capitals around the nation. Most analysts agree that fundamental shifts in the welfare system can be expected to change the current order, yet we are unsure as to how this will occur. One possibility is a rapid increase in kinship caregiving as some mothers lose access to the public transfer payments that currently support their households. Another possibility is a gradual shift towards the involvement of more fathers in what had been single-mother households. Our almost total inability to anticipate consequences is reflected in the fact that we do not yet know how to define the rules.

Data issues faced within this project

Discussions of data resource issues have been interwoven throughout this report, as these have steered the research activity and discussion at least as much as have substantive concerns and questions. Certain of the approaches and analyses were chosen specifically to exploit unique data opportunities, while others had to be qualified carefully due to the specificity of the information that was available. As a result, this task took a patchwork format, with each type of available information being exploited to provide one vantage point on the complex set of questions involved in kinship care. It is clear that our ability to describe formal and informal kinship care is highly limited by the range of information that is available for consideration. Several methodological issues that are particularly salient for describing kinship care are discussed in some detail.

Definition of Child Relationships

The "American family " includes a diverse set of social institutions. While the current family landscape is dominated by traditional two-parent, two-generational nuclear families, other family forms are common -- particularly among specific subgroups of the population. Tracking the living arrangements and household situations of children is an important part of understanding the status of children in our society and an important first step in evaluating child well-being. In this work, oriented as it is to investigating alternative forms of caregiving for children, it is necessary to view the family environment from a perspective that centers on each child. In order to define informal kinship care arrangements, we need to identify the relationship of each child to their caregivers and to know whether or not a parent is also in the home.

Much of the attention given to family patterns and even to kinship caregiving does not presume such a fine definition. It is well documented that many children reside in complex family units headed by a grandparent or other relative. It is also known that, in many of these multi-generational homes, the grandparent is the effective caregiver, even in the case that a parent is present. But in our attempt to define alternative care structures, our interest is directed to those children who are being cared for by a relative in the absence of a parent. These are unambiguous arrangements where the custody and care of the child have clearly passed from the parent to another family member. This is not the type of information that is most commonly sought from household-based census and survey data. Typically, the organization of the household unit itself (including the presence or absence of children) is of greater interest, and the defined head of the household is the primary person described. After all, the household is the living unit that associates persons with residential space, it is a definable social and economic unit, and the notion of a household easily subsumes a broad range of possible combinations of people and arrangements.

In order to identify the specific situation of each child from data collected on a household level, it is necessary to refer to a matrix of information that defines each individual person and their relation to the others in the household-- information that often is collected as part of a census or household survey. In the portion of this project that was based on data from the Current Population Survey, this information was available and the complex task of defining a child's relationship in the household was performed as part of the data analysis effort. In the portion of this project based on Census data, though, the detailed individual-level relationship data was not publicly available, so the analysis had to rest on summary data as tabulated and provided by the Census Bureau.

From the 1990 census data, as distributed in the common Summary Tape File 3 format, the family relationships of all children within the household can be identified, reflecting real improvement in their sensitivity to the existence of subfamilies and complex living units. But the only other variable that can be directly associated with this information is a two-category age classification (0-4 and 6-17 years). More detailed information is available for other classes of children ("own" children, children classified by relation to head-of-household, etc.). Other variables, such as race/ethnicity and poverty status can only be evaluated on an aggregate geographical level.

Sampling of "rare" events

The main reason that sampled data sources present a particular problem for this subject area is that kinship caregiving, both formal and informal, is a relatively low-probability event in American family life. While a fairly large number of American children lived in homes with some non-parent adult relatives in 1990, only two to three percent did so in the absence of either parent. Thus a random sample of 1,000 children would only be expected to identify somewhere around twenty to thirty children in kinship care -- hardly enough to support detailed decomposition and analysis. As we commonly observe with more familiar findings based on sampling results (such as election polls), the confidence interval within which we can "trust" estimates drawn from sampled data are often expressed with a range of plus or minus several percentage points. When the true underlying number is around two to three percent, an estimate that is accurate within plus or minus two points does not provide a level of precision that is satisfactory for comparison, for trend analysis, or that encourages any further analysis.

The error range of an estimate is mostly a function of the size of the sample, though it also depends on the underlying prevalence of the characteristic being estimated. Therefore, to discuss national patterns and trends about kinship caregiving, we must turn to very large samples or to population-based information if we hope to obtain reliable information. The Current Population Survey, which is based on annual national samples of about 11,000 [households], is the best source of this type of information. In rough terms, the national one-year estimates for 1994 produce the child living arrangement estimates at the following levels of accuracy:

Accuracy
  CPS Estimate 90% confid interval +/- +/- as % of estimate
N children w/ 2 parents 48,084,000 690,000 1.4
N children in kinship care 2,150,000 166,500 7.7
% children in kinship 3.1 % 0.24 % 7.7
% white ch in kinship 1.8 % 0.22 % 12.5
% afr-amer ch in kinship 8.0 % 1.11 % 13.8
% hisp ch in kinship 3.4 % 0.81 % 23.5

As we can see from these numbers, the CPS provides a rather close estimate of the national kinship care population, here as 3.1% of all children plus or minus one-quarter of one percent. As we move from a national to any sub-national estimates (region, state, ethnic group, etc) the precision of the estimates decays as the N decreases. Therefore, the CPS provides poor state estimates of kinship care levels except in the few largest states. Looking at race/ethnicity in the numbers above, it can be seen that the relative size of the error margin for white children in kinship care is about one-fourth of that for Hispanic children, and less than one-fifth of the error margin for African-American children.

The Problem of Different Sub-Populations

When we attempt to interpret any simple univariate frequency or a bivariate relation describing the association between the level of children in kinship care and another variable, say region or age, we are implicitly assuming (at least for the moment) that this relationship is not somehow influenced by the impact of other factors. When we have reason to believe that other factors do intervene in the relationship, good research procedure suggests that variables be explicitly introduced into the analysis to represent the influence of these factors. The racial/ethnic subpopulation estimates for children in kinship care above point to the type of factor that a well-designed analysis would always evaluate. On the national level, the 1994 CPS data estimate the kinship care levels at 1.8% of the total for white children, 3.4% for Hispanic children, and 8.0% for African-American children. This is an interesting, and not unexpected, finding in its own right. Kinship and extended family relations have been more prevalent in African-American families for a long time. However, these differences require that we ask a certain empirical questions before we continue. Are four times as many African-American children as white children in kinship care arrangements because they are differentially exposed to the same causal conditions? Are different causal factors operating independently on these different racial/ethnic subgroups of children?

Arguments can be developed in support of both interpretations. To support the "same causes" position, African-Americans are more likely than white Americans to be exposed to forces that we already know to be associated with increased family breakdown, such as poverty, unemployment, program receipt, and teenage childbearing. In contrast, our observation of ethnic cultural patterns also suggests that the practice of sharing child-rearing responsibilities across members of the extended family is accepted and considered more normative across a much broader segment of the African-American community than among white Americans, thus supporting the "different causes" position. This argument will not be unravelled here(26), but it highlights the significance of the issue. Because there are such wide differences between racial/ethnic subgroups in the formation of family groups and in the prevalence of kinship caregiving, we should not expect all relations or explanations to be the same across the entire population. Race and ethnicity should be paramount in the study of family structure and living arrangements, and any study that cannot explicitly control for racial/ethnic effects will necessarily be limited in its ability to define and describe these phenomena.

In the Current Population Survey portion of this report, resource limitations resulted in race/ethnicity only being evaluated as a univariate category. Because race/ethnicity is such an important discriminator variable in describing relative caregiving, far more descriptive value could be gained by controlling some of the other relationships (i.e. for age, region, metro/nonmetro, poverty) by race/ethnicity. For example, the South showed significantly higher levels of relative caregiving than the other three regions of the nation. Is this due to the higher proportion of African-Americans in the South? Do whites in the South also have higher kinship care levels than whites in other regions? Is there a difference between urban and rural southerners of any race? These are the type of questions where racial controls would be useful. They are necessary to help see if racial/ethnic factors alone explain other relationships, and to help look for variability along other dimensions within each race/ethnic group. Direct racial/ethnic classification of children and families was available in the preceding analysis only for the four-state data on children in formal kinship foster care and for the records of Illinois kinship AFDC cases. None of the analyses of informal kinship were able to address racial subclassifications, due to the fact that the Census-based data for kinship care cases were not available in a format classified by race.

Some data-oriented recommendations for the study of Kinship care

1. Extend the analysis of the Current Population Survey data. This work can be extended in two ways. First, by continuing to generate data pulls for children in kinship care relations from each of the new Annual Demographic Surveys (March CPS). This report ended with the 1994 data, which unfortunately showed apparent empirical changes that we must presume are largely an artifact of changes in data collection methodology. While these newest estimates are presumably improved, continued collection must start to obtain a time series of data for continued comparison.

Second, the Current Population Survey analysis must be performed in a multivariate fashion. The univariate findings reported here are new, important, and informative because they describe a carefully defined kinship care population. But they do not yet provide a sufficient information basis for the development of research or policy. While the survey sampling basis of the CPS will not allow highly detailed analysis, the sample size is sufficient to support controls for region, race/ethnicity, poverty levels, metro/nonmetro, etc, especially when several years data are pooled together. Because the CPS is collected annually, this should be the cheapest and most cost-effective way to follow general population trends in kinship caregiving on an ongoing basis.

2. Support a reclassification from 1990 Census STF 3 data that would allow race/ethnicity to be determined for the detailed relationships of child living arrangements. The full Census databases contain the information required, it just was not produced for public distribution. Similarly, this topic is of sufficient policy importance that the Census Bureau should be encouraged to tabulate more information classified directly for children and their family-household relationships for its reports from the next decennial census in year 2000.

Alternately, analysis of kinship care should seek to take advantage of the STF 4 data files created by the Census Bureau. These files are much larger and less widely distributed than the STF 3 data, but they contain detailed ethnic and racial subcategorizations for the entire record as reported for each areal unit. The productive gain from well-defined census information is potentially huge, as it offers not only very large samples (or full populations), but also provides the capacity for analysis by areal units. Our intention had been to demonstrate this approach in the current project to compare formal and informal kinship, but the extreme concentration of formal kinship care in a few urban places prevented this effort.

3. Analyze formal kinship care for more than four states, and include comparisons of kinship and non-kinship foster care into the analysis. This effort clearly demonstrated that the levels of kinship foster care respond more to local policy and practice issues than to basic social causes. With this understanding, each new state should be seen as a new case study rather than just an extension to a pooled dataset. In the current project we focused on differentiating formal and informal kinship cases. New research should approach questions like, for the states with low formal kinship care participation, where do the children live who would probably be formal kinship cases in another state. Do they tend to be placed in nonrelative foster care? In informal kinship arrangements? Are they more likely to remain with a parent?

The kinship foster care data would also be far more useful if it were able in all cases to identify the reason for initial removal from home and information about the kinship caregiver, including their family relationship to the child. The former information might help us to classify kin care types, and the latter would help us to contrast this population to the informal kinship group.

4. Encourage continued efforts to integration administrative data sources for service contacts with children, such as the linkage which supported the examination of Illinois AFDC and foster care populations in Section IV. Linkages are currently being pursued in several states between child welfare, child protection, public assistance, child support, mental health, public health, vital records, and other administrative databases.

The Illinois AFDC-foster care analysis, as preliminary as it was in design, emphasized the value of this type of effort. The ability to describe flows of children between various statuses and points of contact with social service providers brings the potential to empirically observe processes and to introduce causal-type arguments to a study.

Substantive recommendations for the continued study of kinship care

The impetus for this project emerged largely from concerns about recent growth in the size of formal kinship (foster) care population in many states. Several of these states have recently submitted IV-E waiver applications to support programmatic reforms being implemented to respond to their growing kinship caseloads. One reason that HHS requested this report was the premise that in order to understand the formal kinship care population, we needed to gain more insight into the nature of all kinship caregiving, with or without formal public supports. Of particular concern was finding out how similar these two groups are, and if the informal kinship group should be seen as a latent group with high potential of moving into the formal foster care system.

Interest in describing the kinship care population has also been rooted in a more general framework, which recognizes that variations in the size and prevalence of the kinship care population are related to stresses in the social conditions of families. Thus, the levels of children in kinship care might well serve as an barometer of the impact of generalized social problems on families, as well as a means for identifying a specific population od children and caregivers that have been directly affected by tensions in their daily lives. For these issues, the kinship care population is enumerated and described in a manner that treats its prevalence as an outcome, presuming that it is symptomatic of other processes affecting the social order.

To really understand the nature of kinship caregiving, we need not just to describe the children in kinship arrangements, but to represent the processes by which children come to live in households with their relatives and without their parents. Children enter kinship care arrangements at different stages of their lives, for different reasons, and with different expectations of permanency. In some cases the arrangement is initiated and pushed by agencies of the state, in others state support or custody is sought by the family, and sometimes the entire arrangement is created by family agreement.

If kinship care is typically to be understood as an adaptive and alternative to own-parent care, it should be useful to determine what problems it is solving and under what conditions alternative care arrangements are sought. Most of us will react to the each following situations very differently, finding that each scenario elicits a different emotive reaction and a different set of concerns.

  • A woman assumes total care and custody for her younger sister's baby, because the mother is seriously addicted to drugs.
  • A school-aged child moves in with grandparents after his mother has died.
  • A teenager, abused by her father, moves in with her cousins.
  • Another teenager lives with an older sibling while finishing high school after his father's job is transferred to another city.
  • Grandmother's health is failing, but she tries to continue raising her grandchildren anyway because the state cannot approve their mother as prepared to manage a reunification.
  • A father abandons his two children with his parents.
  • Grandmother moves in to care for three kids while their mother serves a prison sentence.
  • Grandparents continue caring for a child that they have effectively raised since her mother gave birth at the age of fourteen.
  • Mom sends her children to stay with her brother and his wife while she looks for housing and employment.
  • A boy who has been getting in trouble is sent to his grandparent's because his mother can't provide the needed level of supervision during the work week.
  • Caseworkers ask a child's grandmother to take care of him until they find out why he came the hospital with a broken arm and bruises.

These examples start to illustrate the myriad of possible scenarios that might lead to kinship caregiving. It is easy to note as we run through this list that our response to a kinship care arrangement is framed by the social and behavioral context of the situation, and not on the fact that it involves kinship placement, per se. Our understanding is conditioned by knowledge of where the mother and father are, why one or both of them are not the caregiver, why the relative assumes care of the child, what responsibility the different parties feel is being assumed, the extent to which the relative is able and willing to provide good care, and a sense of what the alternatives to the given care arrangement might be.

One substantive point to be drawn from this discussion is that, in attempting to classify and evaluate cases of children in kinship care arrangements, we should be seeking information about the processes that lead to changes in living arrangement status -- about the reasons children move into kinship care arrangements and the nature of the transitions that initiate (and terminate) kinship situations. The existence of children living in alternative care arrangements with relatives is an opportunity to identify cases where the traditional own-parent family does not function. Ideally, we can know something about the status of the parent, the precipitating reason for kinship care, or the permanence of the arrangement. Any information that might help us differentiate types of kinship care cases will increase our ability to interpret the meaning of new patterns or shifts in trends.

Another substantive point is that study of these alternative care arrangements must continue to be framed in the context of all care arrangements provided for children. The scenarios above include many distinct reasons for the movement of children to care of relatives, but almost all of them contain some evidence of fragility in their original own-parent household. Often this fragility derives directly from parental problems, that might become manifest in forms such as substance abuse, criminal activity, or abusive behavior. But it also seems that certain families are at high risk of disruption. Poverty often is a significant contributing factor. Single-parent families are especially vulnerable, if only because the one person filling the roles of parent and provider should be expected to have far more trouble buffering against crises and mediating problems than a household with two or more responsible adults. The argument being made is that because kinship care is a product of the family environment, all of the prior processes that are involved in family formation and dissolution are informative in that the help set the stage for later events. Information about teenaged childbirth, marriage rates, and births within and outside of marriage; frequency of non-marital coresidence, partnership and parenting; marital breakdown rates; participation in extended family households; establishment of paternity and child support participation -- all of these bear directly on this discussion because they help to define the size and severity of the population of children "at risk" of living in tenuous or nonviable home care environments.

One reason that "process" investigation is so important is because a phenomenon like kinship care can result from so many possible causes. It is difficult to assign explanations or reasons when kinship care levels are observed to change. We expect that the fundamental reordering of the welfare system will have an observable impact on kinship care levels and on the child welfare system. Yet, as the welfare reforms are implemented, many other changes will occur simultaneously--some related to welfare reform and others quite independent of it. We will be far better able to untangle the meanings of these changes if we have better detail about the nature of individual transitions between these statuses. Some parts of this information can be produced by exploiting existing data sources such as welfare records, child welfare data, and other service contact information. A stronger source of information would be tracking information obtained directly from the children and caretakers involved. Data of this quality can only be acquired by survey techniques. Because some significant national data-gathering efforts on child well-being are now on the drawing board, it would be fruitful to ensure that the instruments will be able to detect information about the family status of children and the types, timing, and reason for changes in these arrangements.

(25)These "forces" might involve many types of conditions. For example, the utilization of kinship care has been explained by the influence of local court decisions, the availability of spaces in nonrelative foster homes, management directives, etc.

(26)The argument as posed is also extremely simplistic. Even if one of these could be shown to be more important in current child-rearing practices, the causal impetus could have emerged due to the other set of causes. For example, the greater normative acceptance of kinship caregiving could have developed as a response to structural need.

Volume II. TABLES AND FIGURES

Section I: Children in Kin Care, 1983-1994

Table 1.1 U.S. Children Living in Kin Care Arrangements, 1983-93

 
      Number of children

Category

   

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-93

All children

62,532,272

63,237,633

64,511,630

66,638,836

Children in kin care

1,281,986

1,402,338

1,390,338

1,390,084

 

Race /Ethnicity

         
   

NonHispanic

       
   

White

597,918

602,722

530,374

482,196

   

African American

488,028

583,454

623,372

640,896

   

Other

55,687

45,255

56,005

55,840

   

Asian/Pacific Islander

n.a.

n.a.

28,940

25,645

   

American Indian/Eskimo

n.a.

n.a.

22,892

30,195

   

Other

n.a.

n.a.

4,174

-

   

Hispanic

       
   

White

134,680

164,115

171,415

196,283

   

African American

3,361

5,160

4,694

9,379

   

Other

2,312

1,633

4,479

5,493

   

Total African American

491,390

588,614

628,066

650,275

   

Total Hispanic

140,353

170,907

180,587

211,154

 

Age

         
   

0-4

213,584

236,328

266,602

258,878

   

5-9

305,528

353,459

374,860

358,448

   

10-14

415,067

455,893

406,559

413,743

   

15-17

347,807

356,659

342,317

359,016

 

Sex

         
   

Male

653,264

721,867

705,554

690,062

   

Female

628,722

680,472

684,785

700,022

 

Regions

         
   

Northeast

207,308

205,857

193,978

231,352

   

Midwest

242,082

226,330

182,748

252,504

   

South

623,222

713,383

750,350

651,262

   

West

209,375

256,768

263,263

254,967

 

Metro/Nonmetro

         
   

Metropolitan area

757,388

1,045,063

1,014,779

1,009,741

   

Nonmetropolitan

524,599

357,276

375,560

380,344

             

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Note: Estimates based on average for 3-year period.

Table 1.2 Percentage of U.S. Children in Kin Care, 1983-93

 
   

Percent children in category who are in kin care

Category

 

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-93

All children

 

2.1 %

2.2 %

2.2 %

2.1 %

Racial/Ethnic group

         
NonHispanic        
 

White

1.3 %

1.3 %

1.2 %

1.1 %

 

African American

5.2 %

6.1 %

6.3 %

6.1 %

 

Other

2.7 %

2.0 %

2.1 %

2.0 %

 

Asian/Pacific Islander

n.a.

n.a.

4.6 %

4.2 %

 

American Indian/Eskimo

n.a.

n.a.

1.4 %

1.5 %

 

Other

n.a.

n.a.

2.8 %

0.0 %

Hispanic          
 

White

2.4 %

2.5 %

2.5 %

2.7 %

 

African American

3.5 %

3.5 %

3.2 %

6.3 %

 

Other

4.7 %

2.4 %

3.4 %

2.1 %

Total African American  

5.2 %

6.1 %

6.2 %

6.1 %

Total Hispanic  

2.4 %

2.6 %

2.4 %

2.7 %

           

Age

         
 

0-4

1.2 %

1.3 %

1.4 %

1.3 %

 

5-9

1.9 %

2.0 %

2.0 %

1.9 %

 

10-14

2.4 %

2.8 %

2.4 %

2.3 %

 

15-17

3.2 %

3.2 %

3.4 %

3.6 %

           

Sex

         
 

Male

2.0 %

2.2 %

2.1 %

2.0 %

 

Female

2.1 %

2.2 %

2.2 %

2.2 %

           

Region

         
 

Northeast

1.7 %

1.7 %

1.6 %

1.9 %

 

Midwest

1.5 %

1.4 %

1.2 %

1.5 %

 

South

2.9 %

3.3 %

3.4 %

2.9 %

 

West

1.7 %

1.9 %

1.9 %

1.7 %

           

Metro/Nonmetro

         
 

Metropolitan area

1.9 %

2.2 %

2.0 %

2.0 %

 

Nonmetropolitan

2.3 %

2.4 %

2.5 %

2.5 %

           

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period. n.a.=Not available.

Figure 1.1 Race/Ethnicity for Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.2 Racial/Ethnic Distributions of Kin Care Children and Parent Care Children, Comparisons 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.3 Age of Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.4 Age Distribution of Kin Care Children and Parent Care Children, Comparison of 1983-85 to 1992-94

 src=

Table 1.3 Personal Characteristics of Children in Kin Care and Parent Care, 1983-94

 
   

Kin Care Children

Parent Care Children

   

Percentage in Category

Percentage in Category

Category

 

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

Racial/Ethnic group

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

NonHispanic

               
 

White

46.6 %

43.0 %

38.1 %

36.2 %

73.1 %

71.5 %

70.0 %

68.7 %

 

African American

38.1 %

41.6 %

44.8 %

44.3 %

14.5 %

14.5 %

14.7 %

14.9 %

 

Other

4.3 %

3.2 %

- -

3.3 %

3.6 %

- -
 

Asian/Pacific Islander

n.a.

n.a.

1.6 %

1.5 %

n.a.

n.a.

0.7 %

0.8 %

 

American Indian/Eskimo

n.a.

n.a.

2.1 %

2.7 %

n.a.

n.a.

3.1 %

3.0 %

 

Other

n.a.

n.a.

0.3 %

0.2 %

n.a.

n.a.

0.2 %

0.3 %

 

Hispanic

               
 

White

10.5 %

11.7 %

12.3 %

14.0 %

8.9 %

10.1 %

10.7 %

11.4 %

 

African American

0.3 %

0.4 %

0.3 %

0.5 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

 

Other

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.3 %

0.6 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

0.6 %

                   
 

Total African American

38.3 %

42.0 %

45.2 %

44.8 %

14.6 %

14.7 %

14.9 %

15.2 %

 

Total Hispanic

10.9 %

12.2 %

13.0 %

15.1 %

9.2 %

10.4 %

11.1 %

12.2 %

                   

Age

 

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

0-4

16.7 %

16.9 %

19.2 %

21.7 %

29.0 %

29.1 %

29.7 %

29.8 %

 

5-9

23.8 %

25.2 %

27.0 %

25.1 %

26.1 %

27.9 %

28.6 %

28.1 %

 

10-14

32.4 %

32.5 %

29.2 %

29.6 %

28.0 %

26.2 %

26.7 %

27.4 %

 

15-17

27.1 %

25.4 %

24.6 %

23.5 %

17.0 %

16.8 %

15.0 %

14.7 %

                   

Sex

 

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

Male

51.0 %

51.5 %

50.7 %

49.4 %

51.2 %

51.2 %

51.3 %

51.3 %

 

Female

49.0 %

48.5 %

49.3 %

50.6 %

48.8 %

48.8 %

48.7 %

48.7 %

                   

Region

 

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

Northeast

16.2 %

14.7 %

14.0 %

16.2 %

20.0 %

19.1 %

19.2 %

18.7 %

 

Midwest

18.9 %

16.1 %

13.1 %

18.5 %

26.1 %

25.6 %

24.8 %

24.6 %

 

South

48.6 %

50.9 %

54.0 %

46.8 %

33.7 %

34.1 %

33.9 %

33.8 %

 

West

16.3 %

18.3 %

18.9 %

18.5 %

20.2 %

21.2 %

22.0 %

22.9 %

                   

Metro/Nonmetro

 

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

Metropolitan area

59.1 %

74.5 %

73.0 %

74.5 %

63.7 %

76.4 %

76.8 %

77.4 %

 

Nonmetropolitan

40.9 %

25.5 %

27.0 %

25.5 %

36.3 %

23.6 %

23.2 %

22.6 %

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period. n.a.=Not available.

Table 1.4 Caregiver Characteristics for Children in Kin and Parent Care, 1983-94

 
 

Percentage in Category

 

Kin Care Children

Parent Care Children

Category

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

Relationship to caregiver

   

100.0 %

100.0 %

       

Grandchild

n.a.

n.a.

66.2 %

66.3 %

       

Other relative

n.a.

n.a.

33.8 %

33.7 %

       
                 

Marital status

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Married couple

56.3 %

53.2 %

49.2 %

50.3 %

76.5 %

75.3 %

74.4 %

72.4 %

Single male

5.0 %

4.8 %

5.3 %

5.9 %

2.3 %

2.7 %

3.1 %

3.4 %

Single female

38.7 %

42.1 %

45.5 %

43.8 %

21.2 %

21.9 %

22.5 %

24.2 %

Widowed

16.9 %

16.0 %

20.1 %

15.2 %

1.6 %

1.5 %

1.4 %

1.0 %

Divorced

8.5 %

11.5 %

10.0 %

11.3 %

8.6 %

8.6 %

8.3 %

8.7 %

Never married

4.9 %

6.2 %

7.7 %

7.8 %

5.4 %

6.4 %

7.3 %

8.6 %

Separated

7.6 %

7.4 %

6.1 %

7.6 %

4.9 %

4.8 %

4.7 %

4.9 %

Married-spouse absent

0.7 %

1.1 %

1.5 %

1.9 %

0.7 %

0.7 %

0.9 %

0.9 %

                 

Age of female caregiver

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

0-17

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

0.3 %

0.3 %

0.3 %

0.3 %

18-19

0.6 %

0.4 %

0.5 %

0.3 %

0.9 %

0.8 %

0.8 %

0.7 %

20-24

4.2 %

2.8 %

2.6 %

3.2 %

8.4 %

7.4 %

6.8 %

6.6 %

25-29

6.8 %

6.4 %

3.4 %

3.8 %

18.8 %

18.2 %

17.2 %

15.7 %

30-39

18.4 %

18.6 %

11.2 %

11.4 %

48.6 %

51.1 %

51.5 %

51.3 %

40-49

19.3 %

21.0 %

22.2 %

24.5 %

19.4 %

19.3 %

20.9 %

23.2 %

50-59

25.6 %

26.9 %

31.7 %

29.3 %

3.3 %

2.6 %

2.3 %

2.1 %

60-69

18.3 %

17.9 %

22.0 %

19.6 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

70+

6.6 %

5.9 %

6.3 %

7.6 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

Children with no female caregiver excluded

Age of male caregiver

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

0-17

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

18-19

0.2 %

0.3 %

0.3 %

0.0 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

20-24

4.7 %

2.1 %

2.3 %

2.2 %

3.8 %

3.2 %

2.8 %

2.7 %

25-29

9.1 %

6.7 %

5.9 %

5.9 %

13.6 %

12.8 %

11.6 %

10.3 %

30-39

17.8 %

16.6 %

11.9 %

12.8 %

46.5 %

48.4 %

48.4 %

47.2 %

40-49

18.3 %

22.0 %

17.8 %

20.9 %

27.5 %

28.0 %

30.3 %

32.8 %

50-59

23.8 %

25.5 %

26.8 %

29.2 %

7.1 %

6.2 %

5.6 %

5.8 %

60-69

18.6 %

20.0 %

27.9 %

18.4 %

1.1 %

1.0 %

0.9 %

0.9 %

70+

7.3 %

6.8 %

7.1 %

10.6 %

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

Children with no female caregiver excluded

Educational attainment

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Not high school graduate

47.9 %

43.5 %

44.8 %

42.6 %

17.0 %

15.6 %

14.9 %

14.2 %

High school graduate

29.9 %

33.3 %

33.5 %

32.7 %

36.0 %

35.4 %

33.3 %

30.8 %

Some college

14.0 %

14.9 %

14.3 %

16.7 %

23.3 %

24.2 %

25.1 %

28.2 %

College graduate

8.1 %

8.3 %

7.3 %

8.1 %

23.7 %

24.8 %

26.6 %

26.8 %

                 

Labor force status

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Employed

58.7 %

59.4 %

58.5 %

57.5 %

82.9 %

84.2 %

84.8 %

83.0 %

Unemployed

4.9 %

5.1 %

3.1 %

3.3 %

5.6 %

4.4 %

3.7 %

4.5 %

Not in labor force

36.3 %

35.5 %

38.4 %

39.1 %

11.5 %

11.4 %

11.5 %

12.4 %

Housekeeping

19.9 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

7.6 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

In school

1.1 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

1.0 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Unable

2.7 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

0.5 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Other/retired

12.6 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2.3 %

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Other

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period. n.a.=Not available.

Table 1.5 Poverty Status and Use of Services by Kin Care and Parent Care Families, 1983-94

 
 

Percentage in Category

 

Kin Care Children

Parent Care Children

Category

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

1983-85

1986-88

1989-91

1992-94

Family poverty level

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Below poverty line

39.2 %

36.8 %

35.3 %

38.8 %

21.3 %

19.9 %

19.4 %

21.4 %

Up to 150% of poverty line

15.1 %

14.5 %

16.7 %

17.1 %

11.9 %

10.8 %

10.6 %

11.0 %

Above 150% of poverty line

45.7 %

48.7 %

48.0 %

44.1 %

66.9 %

69.4 %

70.0 %

67.6 %

Family has no earned income

23.8 %

23.0 %

22.3 %

26.3 %

8.9 %

8.3 %

7.9 %

9.2 %

Family use of public assistance

               

Public assistance/welfare

21.1 %

19.9 %

24.3 %

27.0 %

11.6 %

11.7 %

11.5 %

13.3 %

Supplemental Security Income

10.1 %

11.5 %

13.0 %

14.5 %

1.9 %

1.9 %

2.2 %

3.0 %

Social Security

33.9 %

34.1 %

37.3 %

34.6 %

6.8 %

6.5 %

6.1 %

6.4 %

Disability

n.a.

n.a.

3.9 %

3.6 %

n.a.

n.a.

1.4 %

1.4 %

Unemployment compensation

11.8 %

8.1 %

8.2 %

7.9 %

13.3 %

9.1 %

8.0 %

10.2 %

Workers compensation

3.4 %

3.2 %

3.3 %

3.2 %

3.2 %

3.2 %

3.2 %

3.0 %

Children receive free lunches*

42.0 %

35.2 %

35.7 %

49.8 %

22.4 %

15.9 %

21.6 %

25.4 %

Public housing*

7.3 %

5.9 %

6.7 %

6.7 %

3.7 %

3.6 %

3.5 %

4.0 %

Rent subsidy*

2.2 %

2.6 %

3.4 %

2.6 %

1.5 %

2.0 %

2.5 %

2.7 %

Food stamps*

28.6 %

24.8 %

27.8 %

31.2 %

16.9 %

17.7 %

14.7 %

18.9 %

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period. n.a.=Not available.

* Variable measured at household, not family level.

Figure 1.5 Regional Distribution of Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.6 Metro/Non-Metro Distribution of Kin Care and Parent Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.7 Marital Status of the Caregivers of Kin Care and Parent Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.8 Age of Female Caregiver, Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.9 Educational Attainment of Best Educated Caregiver, Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.10 Labor Force Status of Caregiver, Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1983-85 and 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.11 Poverty Status of Kin Care and Paren Care Children, 1992-94

 src=

Figure 1.12 Use of Government Assistance, Kin-Care and Parent-Care Children, 1992-94

 src=

Table 1.6 Personal Characteristics of Children in Kin Care, Foster Care, and Parent Care, 1992-94

 

Category

Kin Care

Foster Care

Parent Care

Racial/Ethnic group

100.0 % 100.0 % 100.0 %
NonHispanic      
White 36.2 % 43.1 % 68.7 %
African American 44.3 % 42.8 % 14.9 %
Other 4.4 % 4.7 % 4.2 %
Hispanic      
White 14.0 % 6.8 % 11.4 %
African American 0.5 % 1.5 % 0.2 %
Other 0.6 % 1.2 % 0.6 %
       
Total African American 44.8 % 44.3 % 15.2 %
Total Hispanic 15.1 % 9.4 % 12.2 %
       

Age

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

0-4 years 21.7 % 34.2 % 29.8 %
5-9 years 25.1 % 24.4 % 28.1 %
10-14 years 29.6 % 21.9 % 27.4 %
15-17 years 23.5 % 19.6 % 14.7 %
       

Sex

100.0 % 100.0 % 100.0 %
Male 49.4 % 48.3 % 51.3 %
Female 50.6 % 51.7 % 48.7 %
       

Region

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Northeast 16.2 % 20.2 % 18.7 %
Midwest 18.5 % 25.2 % 24.6 %
South 46.8 % 39.3 % 33.8 %
West 18.5 % 15.4 % 22.9 %
       

Metro/Nonmetro

100.0 % 100.0 % 100.0 %
Metropolitan area 74.5 % 70.6 % 77.4 %
Nonmetropolitan 25.5 % 29.4 % 22.6 %
       

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period.

Table 1.7 Caregiver Characteristics of Children in Kin Care, Foster Care, and Parent Care, 1992-94

 

Category

Kin Care

Foster Care

Parent Care

Marital status

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Married couple

50.3 %

66.6 %

72.4 %

Single male

5.9 %

3.9 %

3.4 %

Single female

43.8 %

29.5 %

24.2 %

Widowed

15.2 %

14.6 %

1.0 %

Divorced

11.3 %

8.8 %

8.7 %

Never married

7.8 %

1.0 %

8.6 %

Separated

7.6 %

4.4 %

4.9 %

Married-spouse absent

1.9 %

0.6 %

0.9 %

       

Age of female caregiver

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

0-17

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.3 %

18-19

0.3 %

0.0 %

0.7 %

20-24

3.2 %

1.5 %

6.6 %

25-29

3.8 %

5.5 %

15.7 %

30-39

11.4 %

22.3 %

51.3 %

40-49

24.5 %

35.5 %

23.2 %

50-59

29.3 %

24.1 %

2.1 %

60-69

19.6 %

10.8 %

0.2 %

70+

7.6 %

0.4 %

0.0 %

Children with no female caregiver excluded

     
       

Age of male caregiver

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

0-17

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

18-19

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

20-24

2.2 %

3.6 %

2.7 %

25-29

5.9 %

6.0 %

10.3 %

30-39

12.8 %

19.6 %

47.2 %

40-49

20.9 %

36.4 %

32.8 %

50-59

29.2 %

15.7 %

5.8 %

60-69

18.4 %

14.6 %

0.9 %

70+

10.6 %

4.0 %

0.1 %

Children with no female caregiver excluded

     

Educational attainment

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Not high school graduate

42.6 %

15.2 %

14.2 %

High school graduate

32.7 %

39.9 %

30.8 %

Some college

16.7 %

26.6 %

28.2 %

College graduate

8.1 %

18.3 %

26.8 %

Labor force status

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

Employed

57.5 %

71.6 %

83.0 %

Unemployed

3.3 %

1.8 %

4.5 %

Not in labor force

39.1 %

26.6 %

12.4 %

Other

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period.

Table 1.8 Poverty Status and Use of Services for Kin Care, Foster Care, and Parent Care Families, 1992-94

 

Category

Kin Care

Foster Care

Parent Care

Family poverty level

     

Below poverty line

38.8 %

23.1 %

21.4 %

Up to 150% of poverty line

17.1 %

6.9 %

11.0 %

Above 150% of poverty line

44.1 %

69.9 %

67.6 %

Family has no earned income

26.3 %

22.3 %

9.2 %

       

Family use of public assistance

     

Public assistance/welfare

27.0 %

11.0 %

13.3 %

Supplemental Security Income

14.5 %

8.4 %

3.0 %

Social Security

34.6 %

23.2 %

6.4 %

Disability

3.6 %

1.2 %

1.4 %

Unemployment compensation

7.9 %

11.9 %

10.2 %

Workers compensation

3.2 %

3.1 %

3.0 %

Children receive free lunches*

49.8 %

31.1 %

25.4 %

Public housing*

6.7 %

4.6 %

4.0 %

Rent subsidy*

2.6 %

1.8 %

2.7 %

Food stamps*

31.2 %

15.0 %

18.9 %

       

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1983-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period. n.a.=Not available.

* Variable measured at household, not family level.

Table 1.9 Poverty Status and Family Earnings for Children in Kin Care and Foster Care, 1992-94

Table 1.9 Poverty Status and Family Earnings for Children in Kin Care and Foster Care, 1992-94

  Children in families below poverty line
 

Kin-care

Foster-care

Family has earnings

25.4 %

7.8 %

Family has no earnings

76.4 %

76.3 %

Source: March Current Population Surveys, 1992-1994.

Notes: Estimates based on average for 3-year period.

Section II: Kinship Care and Child Living Arrangements

Table 2.1 Child Living Arrangements, U.S. Total: 1990 Census

Table 2.1 Child Living Arrangements, U.S. Total: 1990 Census
   

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

 
   

Two Parents

Mother Only

Father Only

Child

Child

Total

A Counts:

             
 

All Children

45,667,594

12,710,044

2,501,455

1,399,562

1,327,889

63,606,544

 

Ages 0-5

15,993,967

4,385,441

894,204

330,511

346,987

21,951,110

 

Ages 6-17

29,673,627

8,324,603

1,607,251

1,069,051

980,902

41,655,434

               

B Percent in Age Category:

             
 

All Children

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

 

Ages 0-5

35.0 %

34.5 %

35.7 %

23.6 %

26.1 %

34.5 %

 

Ages 6-17

65.0 %

65.5 %

64.3 %

76.4 %

73.9 %

65.5 %

               

C Percentage of Children:

             
 

All Children

71.8 %

20.0 %

3.9 %

2.2 %

2.1 %

100.0 %

 

Ages 0-5

72.9 %

20.0 %

4.1 %

1.5 %

1.6 %

100.0 %

 

Ages 6-17

71.2 %

20.0 %

3.9 %

2.6 %

2.4 %

100.0 %

               

D Percentage of those Children with < 2 parents present:

             
 

All Children

---

70.9 %

13.9 %

7.8 %

7.4 %

100.0 %

 

Ages 0-5

---

73.6 %

15.0 %

5.5 %

5.8 %

100.0 %

 

Ages 6-17

---

69.5 %

13.4 %

8.9 %

8.2 %

100.0 %

               

E Percentage of those Children with no parents present:

             
 

All Children

---

---

---

51.3%

48.7%

100.0%

 

Ages 0-5

---

---

---

48.8%

51.2%

100.0%

 

Ages 6-17

---

---

---

52.2%

47.8%

100.0%

Figure 2.1 Living Arrangements of Children for Age Group, U.S. Total, 1990

 src=

Table 2.2a Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, 1990. All Children ages 0-17

Table 2.2a Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, 1990.

 

ALL CHILDREN Ages 0-17, from Census STF3A

State

Count

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

 

Percent

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

Alabama

1,060,001

722,554

249,690

38,486

33,644

15,627

 

100 %

68.2 %

23.6 %

3.6 %

3.2 %

1.5 %

Alaska

171,688

129,908

25,869

8,813

2,582

4,516

 

100 %

75.7 %

15.1 %

5.1 %

1.5 %

2.6 %

Arizona

978,783

691,333

194,034

50,460

20,723

22,233

 

100 %

70.6 %

19.8 %

5.2 %

2.1 %

2.3 %

Arkansas

621,268

443,652

127,303

21,650

18,258

10,405

 

100 %

71.4 %

20.5 %

3.5 %

2.9 %

1.7 %

California

7,739,479

5,413,564

1,479,605

405,702

210,270

230,338

 

100 %

69.9 %

19.1 %

5.2 %

2.7 %

3.0 %

Colorado

859,986

644,498

153,672

33,011

12,061

16,744

 

100 %

74.9 %

17.9 %

3.8 %

1.4 %

1.9 %

Connecticut

749,783

556,550

145,657

22,472

11,230

13,874

 

100 %

74.2 %

19.4 %

3.0 %

1.5 %

1.9 %

Delaware

163,007

116,754

32,176

7,070

3,941

3,066

 

100 %

71.6 %

19.7 %

4.3 %

2.4 %

1.9 %

Dist. Columbia

116,624

40,574

56,322

7,432

6,980

5,316

 

100 %

34.8 %

48.3 %

6.4 %

6.0 %

4.6 %

Florida

2,864,500

1,931,081

639,247

135,949

86,673

71,550

 

100 %

67.4 %

22.3 %

4.7 %

3.0 %

2.5 %

Georgia

1,730,650

1,161,596

417,299

65,002

52,569

34,184

 

100 %

67.1 %

24.1 %

3.8 %

3.0 %

2.0 %

Hawaii

280,225

207,268

46,172

14,121

6,185

6,479

 

100 %

74.0 %

16.5 %

5.0 %

2.2 %

2.3 %

Idaho

307,837

250,491

37,690

10,266

3,610

5,780

 

100 %

81.4 %

12.2 %

3.3 %

1.2 %

1.9 %

Illinois

2,947,821

2,111,894

621,807

105,000

56,793

52,327

 

100 %

71.6 %

21.1 %

3.6 %

1.9 %

1.8 %

Indiana

1,457,525

1,095,049

259,595

50,846

23,405

28,630

 

100 %

75.1 %

17.8 %

3.5 %

1.6 %

2.0 %

Iowa

719,344

578,597

98,901

20,445

7,503

13,898

 

100 %

80.4 %

13.7 %

2.8 %

1.0 %

1.9 %

Kansas

662,002

518,960

100,794

20,660

9,297

12,291

 

100 %

78.4 %

15.2 %

3.1 %

1.4 %

1.9 %

Kentucky

955,618

712,960

173,982

30,835

20,548

17,293

 

100 %

74.6 %

18.2 %

3.2 %

2.2 %

1.8 %

Louisiana

1,229,277

783,162

337,796

49,601

37,737

20,981

 

100 %

63.7 %

27.5 %

4.0 %

3.1 %

1.7 %

Maine

309,300

237,591

49,488

11,073

3,413

7,735

 

100 %

76.8 %

16.0 %

3.6 %

1.1 %

2.5 %

Maryland

1,162,222

802,758

258,077

48,268

27,566

25,553

 

100 %

69.1 %

22.2 %

4.2 %

2.4 %

2.2 %

Massachusetts

1,351,385

1,001,259

271,527

36,921

17,306

24,372

 

100 %

74.1 %

20.1 %

2.7 %

1.3 %

1.8 %

Michigan

2,461,723

1,735,707

546,089

87,891

43,169

48,867

 

100 %

70.5 %

22.2 %

3.6 %

1.8 %

2.0 %

Minnesota

1,167,909

941,236

162,899

34,482

9,195

20,097

 

100 %

80.6 %

13.9 %

3.0 %

0.8 %

1.7 %

Mississippi

747,371

460,622

215,982

32,140

27,346

11,281

 

100 %

61.6 %

28.9 %

4.3 %

3.7 %

1.5 %

Missouri

1,315,470

971,142

251,634

43,538

23,391

25,765

 

100 %

73.8 %

19.1 %

3.3 %

1.8 %

2.0 %

Montana

222,787

171,269

34,403

8,402

2,824

5,889

 

100 %

76.9 %

15.4 %

3.8 %

1.3 %

2.6 %

Nebraska

429,187

344,495

61,749

11,948

4,454

6,541

 

100 %

80.3 %

14.4 %

2.8 %

1.0 %

1.5 %

Nevada

294,759

205,721

57,141

16,160

6,233

9,504

 

100 %

69.8 %

19.4 %

5.5 %

2.1 %

3.2 %

New Hampshire

279,123

224,414

36,763

9,505

2,602

5,839

 

100 %

80.4 %

13.2 %

3.4 %

0.9 %

2.1 %

New Jersey

1,798,664

1,318,185

347,847

66,876

35,543

30,213

 

100 %

73.3 %

19.3 %

3.7 %

2.0 %

1.7 %

New Mexico

446,439

310,692

88,641

27,395

10,844

8,867

 

100 %

69.6 %

19.9 %

6.1 %

2.4 %

2.0 %

New York

4,256,301

2,885,048

1,004,558

168,432

102,090

96,173

 

100 %

67.8 %

23.6 %

4.0 %

2.4 %

2.3 %

North Carolina

1,608,493

1,119,978

349,827

62,177

46,870

29,641

 

100 %

69.6 %

21.7 %

3.9 %

2.9 %

1.8 %

North Dakota

175,681

145,225

21,693

4,633

1,413

2,717

 

100 %

82.7 %

12.3 %

2.6 %

0.8 %

1.5 %

Ohio

2,803,796

2,050,151

562,154

95,709

48,149

47,633

 

100 %

73.1 %

20.0 %

3.4 %

1.7 %

1.7 %

Oklahoma

836,845

617,837

152,193

30,925

20,090

15,800

 

100 %

73.8 %

18.2 %

3.7 %

2.4 %

1.9 %

Oregon

724,407

537,094

120,302

33,834

11,555

21,622

 

100 %

74.1 %

16.6 %

4.7 %

1.6 %

3.0 %

Pennsylvania

2,796,942

2,079,433

516,693

100,089

46,431

54,296

 

100 %

74.3 %

18.5 %

3.6 %

1.7 %

1.9 %

Rhode Island

226,005

165,888

45,533

7,838

3,069

3,677

 

100 %

73.4 %

20.1 %

3.5 %

1.4 %

1.6 %

South Carolina

922,048

611,599

227,475

35,826

31,302

15,846

 

100 %

66.3 %

24.7 %

3.9 %

3.4 %

1.7 %

South Dakota

198,945

157,087

27,929

7,178

3,027

3,724

 

100 %

79.0 %

14.0 %

3.6 %

1.5 %

1.9 %

Tennessee

1,215,656

853,141

264,560

44,126

31,626

22,203

 

100 %

70.2 %

21.8 %

3.6 %

2.6 %

1.8 %

Texas

4,835,352

3,483,870

943,430

191,345

130,835

85,872

 

100 %

72.0 %

19.5 %

4.0 %

2.7 %

1.8 %

Utah

627,928

526,859

72,100

14,318

5,659

8,992

 

100 %

83.9 %

11.5 %

2.3 %

0.9 %

1.4 %

Vermont

143,580

110,952

21,928

6,117

1,292

3,291

 

100 %

77.3 %

15.3 %

4.3 %

0.9 %

2.3 %

Virginia

1,504,327

1,103,651

281,577

53,520

34,785

30,794

 

100 %

73.4 %

18.7 %

3.6 %

2.3 %

2.0 %

Washington

1,258,460

941,378

210,469

52,352

19,268

34,993

 

100 %

74.8 %

16.7 %

4.2 %

1.5 %

2.8 %

West Virginia

444,206

339,600

72,080

16,284

8,744

7,498

 

100 %

76.5 %

16.2 %

3.7 %

2.0 %

1.7 %

Wisconsin

1,290,734

996,105

216,811

39,444

13,745

24,629

 

100 %

77.2 %

16.8 %

3.1 %

1.1 %

1.9 %

Wyoming

135,081

107,162

18,881

4,888

1,717

2,433

 

100 %

79.3 %

14.0 %

3.6 %

1.3 %

1.8 %

                           

U.S. TOTAL

63,606,544

45,667,594

12,710,044

2,501,455

1,399,562

1,327,889

 

100 %

71.8 %

20.0 %

3.9 %

2.2 %

2.1 %

Table 2.2b Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, 1990. Young Children ages 0-5

Table 2.2b, Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, continued (p.2).

 

YOUNG CHILDREN Ages 0-5

                           
 

Count

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

 

Percent

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

Alabama

339,117

233,944

82,372

11,802

7,467

3,532

 

100 %

69.0 %

24.3 %

3.5 %

2.2 %

1.0 %

Alaska

65,485

49,967

10,374

3,593

530

1,021

 

100 %

76.3 %

15.8 %

5.5 %

0.8 %

1.6 %

Arizona

348,444

247,376

70,193

20,233

4,883

5,759

 

100 %

71.0 %

20.1 %

5.8 %

1.4 %

1.7 %

Arkansas

199,033

142,305

43,597

7,101

3,686

2,344

 

100 %

71.5 %

21.9 %

3.6 %

1.9 %

1.2 %

California

2,842,506

2,033,367

526,502

160,747

51,967

69,923

 

100 %

71.5 %

18.5 %

5.7 %

1.8 %

2.5 %

Colorado

301,702

232,020

52,043

10,965

2,792

3,882

 

100 %

76.9 %

17.2 %

3.6 %

0.9 %

1.3 %

Connecticut

270,751

207,724

48,590

7,990

2,744

3,703

 

100 %

76.7 %

17.9 %

3.0 %

1.0 %

1.4 %

Delaware

58,024

42,428

11,311

2,575

934

776

 

100 %

73.1 %

19.5 %

4.4 %

1.6 %

1.3 %

Dist. Columbia

43,578

15,502

21,664

2,523

2,147

1,742

 

100 %

35.6 %

49.7 %

5.8 %

4.9 %

4.0 %

Florida

1,011,415

698,288

222,278

50,150

21,321

19,378

 

100 %

69.0 %

22.0 %

5.0 %

2.1 %

1.9 %

Georgia

592,853

402,111

147,059

22,211

12,787

8,685

 

100 %

67.8 %

24.8 %

3.7 %

2.2 %

1.5 %

Hawaii

98,868

73,315

17,324

4,983

1,488

1,758

 

100 %

74.2 %

17.5 %

5.0 %

1.5 %

1.8 %

Idaho

97,265

80,201

11,911

3,148

779

1,226

 

100 %

82.5 %

12.2 %

3.2 %

0.8 %

1.3 %

Illinois

1,015,548

737,932

212,223

37,448

14,025

13,920

 

100 %

72.7 %

20.9 %

3.7 %

1.4 %

1.4 %

Indiana

479,416

363,157

87,482

16,802

5,228

6,747

 

100 %

75.7 %

18.2 %

3.5 %

1.1 %

1.4 %

Iowa

234,070

188,822

33,573

6,986

1,365

3,324

 

100 %

80.7 %

14.3 %

3.0 %

0.6 %

1.4 %

Kansas

226,828

181,237

34,029

6,531

1,933

3,098

 

100 %

79.9 %

15.0 %

2.9 %

0.9 %

1.4 %

Kentucky

302,359

228,200

57,102

9,511

3,859

3,687

 

100 %

75.5 %

18.9 %

3.1 %

1.3 %

1.2 %

Louisiana

406,470

258,946

116,959

16,848

8,776

4,941

 

100 %

63.7 %

28.8 %

4.1 %

2.2 %

1.2 %

Maine

104,401

81,517

16,221

4,235

764

1,664

 

100 %

78.1 %

15.5 %

4.1 %

0.7 %

1.6 %

Maryland

427,150

301,318

93,083

18,369

7,244

7,136

 

100 %

70.5 %

21.8 %

4.3 %

1.7 %

1.7 %

Massachusetts

490,659

373,649

92,912

13,543

4,465

6,090

 

100 %

76.2 %

18.9 %

2.8 %

0.9 %

1.2 %

Michigan

842,374

592,231

196,466

30,251

10,977

12,449

 

100 %

70.3 %

23.3 %

3.6 %

1.3 %

1.5 %

Minnesota

406,751

332,775

55,132

12,031

2,063

4,750

 

100 %

81.8 %

13.6 %

3.0 %

0.5 %

1.2 %

Mississippi

236,340

143,677

72,981

11,033

5,943

2,706

 

100 %

60.8 %

30.9 %

4.7 %

2.5 %

1.1 %

Missouri

442,924

330,754

85,893

14,585

5,190

6,502

 

100 %

74.7 %

19.4 %

3.3 %

1.2 %

1.5 %

Montana

71,802

55,875

11,331

2,506

589

1,501

 

100 %

77.8 %

15.8 %

3.5 %

0.8 %

2.1 %

Nebraska

144,485

117,673

20,369

4,058

918

1,467

 

100 %

81.4 %

14.1 %

2.8 %

0.6 %

1.0 %

Nevada

109,265

78,376

20,817

6,177

1,418

2,477

 

100 %

71.7 %

19.1 %

5.7 %

1.3 %

2.3 %

New Hampshire

100,884

83,633

11,419

3,655

583

1,594

 

100 %

82.9 %

11.3 %

3.6 %

0.6 %

1.6 %

New Jersey

629,446

477,826

111,427

23,720

8,488

7,985

 

100 %

75.9 %

17.7 %

3.8 %

1.3 %

1.3 %

New Mexico

151,177

103,711

32,062

11,320

2,302

1,782

 

100 %

68.6 %

21.2 %

7.5 %

1.5 %

1.2 %

New York

1,494,584

1,032,007

344,380

62,775

26,883

28,539

 

100 %

69.0 %

23.0 %

4.2 %

1.8 %

1.9 %

North Carolina

544,956

383,676

121,461

22,172

10,559

7,088

 

100 %

70.4 %

22.3 %

4.1 %

1.9 %

1.3 %

North Dakota

58,236

48,780

6,997

1,533

275

651

 

100 %

83.8 %

12.0 %

2.6 %

0.5 %

1.1 %

Ohio

944,463

691,615

196,936

32,128

11,645

12,139

 

100 %

73.2 %

20.9 %

3.4 %

1.2 %

1.3 %

Oklahoma

271,474

203,852

50,289

9,961

4,040

3,332

 

100 %

75.1 %

18.5 %

3.7 %

1.5 %

1.2 %

Oregon

243,392

183,492

40,086

11,564

2,605

5,645

 

100 %

75.4 %

16.5 %

4.8 %

1.1 %

2.3 %

Pennsylvania

952,473

715,300

176,548

36,422

11,376

12,827

 

100 %

75.1 %

18.5 %

3.8 %

1.2 %

1.3 %

Rhode Island

80,173

60,153

15,649

2,777

712

882

 

100 %

75.0 %

19.5 %

3.5 %

0.9 %

1.1 %

South Carolina

306,476

205,005

79,095

11,848

7,294

3,234

 

100 %

66.9 %

25.8 %

3.9 %

2.4 %

1.1 %

South Dakota

66,645

53,068

9,527

2,374

788

888

 

100 %

79.6 %

14.3 %

3.6 %

1.2 %

1.3 %

Tennessee

399,795

283,186

90,515

13,757

7,130

5,207

 

100 %

70.8 %

22.6 %

3.4 %

1.8 %

1.3 %

Texas

1,663,442

1,223,664

324,272

66,055

28,189

21,262

 

100 %

73.6 %

19.5 %

4.0 %

1.7 %

1.3 %

Utah

204,588

173,999

23,421

4,599

900

1,669

 

100 %

85.0 %

11.4 %

2.2 %

0.4 %

0.8 %

Vermont

49,644

39,387

7,118

2,141

332

666

 

100 %

79.3 %

14.3 %

4.3 %

0.7 %

1.3 %

Virginia

528,486

395,542

97,742

18,687

8,438

8,077

 

100 %

74.8 %

18.5 %

3.5 %

1.6 %

1.5 %

Washington

441,361

337,574

71,484

18,380

4,555

9,368

 

100 %

76.5 %

16.2 %

4.2 %

1.0 %

2.1 %

West Virginia

129,111

98,681

22,651

4,834

1,602

1,343

 

100 %

76.4 %

17.5 %

3.7 %

1.2 %

1.0 %

Wisconsin

437,452

340,561

74,290

13,210

3,273

6,118

 

100 %

77.9 %

17.0 %

3.0 %

0.7 %

1.4 %

Wyoming

42,969

34,568

6,281

1,357

260

503

 

100 %

80.4 %

14.6 %

3.2 %

0.6 %

1.2 %

                           

U.S. TOTAL

21,951,110

15,993,967

4,385,441

894,204

330,511

346,987

 

100 %

72.9 %

20.0 %

4.1 %

1.5 %

1.6 %

Table 2.2c Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, 1990. Older Children ages 6-17

Table 2.2c, Living Arrangements of Children in U.S. States, continued (p.3).

 

OLDER CHILDREN Ages 6-17

 

Count

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

 

Percent

Own Child

Own Child

Own Child

Related

Unrelated

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

  Total

with 2 Parents

with Mother

with Father

child

child

Alabama

720,884

488,610

167,318

26,684

26,177

12,095

 

100 %

67.8 %

23.2 %

3.7 %

3.6 %

1.7 %

Alaska

106,203

79,941

15,495

5,220

2,052

3,495

 

100 %

75.3 %

14.6 %

4.9 %

1.9 %

3.3 %

Arizona

630,339

443,957

123,841

30,227

15,840

16,474

 

100 %

70.4 %

19.6 %

4.8 %

2.5 %

2.6 %

Arkansas

422,235

301,347

83,706

14,549

14,572

8,061

 

100 %

71.4 %

19.8 %

3.4 %

3.5 %

1.9 %

California

4,896,973

3,380,197

953,103

244,955

158,303

160,415

 

100 %

69.0 %

19.5 %

5.0 %

3.2 %

3.3 %

Colorado

558,284

412,478

101,629

22,046

9,269

12,862

 

100 %

73.9 %

18.2 %

3.9 %

1.7 %

2.3 %

Connecticut

479,032

348,826

97,067

14,482

8,486

10,171

 

100 %

72.8 %

20.3 %

3.0 %

1.8 %

2.1 %

Delaware

104,983

74,326

20,865

4,495

3,007

2,290

 

100 %

70.8 %

19.9 %

4.3 %

2.9 %

2.2 %

Dist. Columbia

73,046

25,072

34,658

4,909

4,833

3,574

 

100 %

34.3 %

47.4 %

6.7 %

6.6 %

4.9 %

Florida

1,853,085

1,232,793

416,969

85,799

65,352

52,172

 

100 %

66.5 %

22.5 %

4.6 %

3.5 %

2.8 %

Georgia

1,137,797

759,485

270,240

42,791

39,782

25,499

 

100 %

66.8 %

23.8 %

3.8 %

3.5 %

2.2 %

Hawaii

181,357

133,953

28,848

9,138

4,697

4,721

 

100 %

73.9 %

15.9 %

5.0 %

2.6 %

2.6 %

Idaho

210,572

170,290

25,779

7,118

2,831

4,554

 

100 %

80.9 %

12.2 %

3.4 %

1.3 %

2.2 %

Illinois

1,932,273

1,373,962

409,584

67,552

42,768

38,407

 

100 %

71.1 %

21.2 %

3.5 %

2.2 %

2.0 %

Indiana

978,109

731,892

172,113

34,044

18,177

21,883

 

100 %

74.8 %

17.6 %

3.5 %

1.9 %

2.2 %

Iowa

485,274

389,775

65,328

13,459

6,138

10,574

 

100 %

80.3 %

13.5 %

2.8 %

1.3 %

2.2 %

Kansas

435,174

337,723

66,765

14,129

7,364

9,193

 

100 %

77.6 %

15.3 %

3.2 %

1.7 %

2.1 %

Kentucky

653,259

484,760

116,880

21,324

16,689

13,606

 

100 %

74.2 %

17.9 %

3.3 %

2.6 %

2.1 %

Louisiana

822,807

524,216

220,837

32,753

28,961

16,040

 

100 %

63.7 %

26.8 %

4.0 %

3.5 %

1.9 %

Maine

204,899

156,074

33,267

6,838

2,649

6,071

 

100 %

76.2 %

16.2 %

3.3 %

1.3 %

3.0 %

Maryland

735,072

501,440

164,994

29,899

20,322

18,417

 

100 %

68.2 %

22.4 %

4.1 %

2.8 %

2.5 %

Massachusetts

860,726

627,610

178,615

23,378

12,841

18,282

 

100 %

72.9 %

20.8 %

2.7 %

1.5 %

2.1 %

Michigan

1,619,349

1,143,476

349,623

57,640

32,192

36,418

 

100 %

70.6 %

21.6 %

3.6 %

2.0 %

2.2 %

Minnesota

761,158

608,461

107,767

22,451

7,132

15,347

 

100 %

79.9 %

14.2 %

2.9 %

0.9 %

2.0 %

Mississippi

511,031

316,945

143,001

21,107

21,403

8,575

 

100 %

62.0 %

28.0 %

4.1 %

4.2 %

1.7 %

Missouri

872,546

640,388

165,741

28,953

18,201

19,263

 

100 %

73.4 %

19.0 %

3.3 %

2.1 %

2.2 %

Montana

150,985

115,394

23,072

5,896

2,235

4,388

 

100 %

76.4 %

15.3 %

3.9 %

1.5 %

2.9 %

Nebraska

284,702

226,822

41,380

7,890

3,536

5,074

 

100 %

79.7 %

14.5 %

2.8 %

1.2 %

1.8 %

Nevada

185,494

127,345

36,324

9,983

4,815

7,027

 

100 %

68.7 %

19.6 %

5.4 %

2.6 %

3.8 %

New Hampshire

178,239

140,781

25,344

5,850

2,019

4,245

 

100 %

79.0 %

14.2 %

3.3 %

1.1 %

2.4 %

New Jersey

1,169,218

840,359

236,420

43,156

27,055

22,228

 

100 %

71.9 %

20.2 %

3.7 %

2.3 %

1.9 %

New Mexico

295,262

206,981

56,579

16,075

8,542

7,085

 

100 %

70.1 %

19.2 %

5.4 %

2.9 %

2.4 %

New York

2,761,717

1,853,041

660,178

105,657

75,207

67,634

 

100 %

67.1 %

23.9 %

3.8 %

2.7 %

2.4 %

North Carolina

1,063,537

736,302

228,366

40,005

36,311

22,553

 

100 %

69.2 %

21.5 %

3.8 %

3.4 %

2.1 %

North Dakota

117,445

96,445

14,696

3,100

1,138

2,066

 

100 %

82.1 %

12.5 %

2.6 %

1.0 %

1.8 %

Ohio

1,859,333

1,358,536

365,218

63,581

36,504

35,494

 

100 %

73.1 %

19.6 %

3.4 %

2.0 %

1.9 %

Oklahoma

565,371

413,985

101,904

20,964

16,050

12,468

 

100 %

73.2 %

18.0 %

3.7 %

2.8 %

2.2 %

Oregon

481,015

353,602

80,216

22,270

8,950

15,977

 

100 %

73.5 %

16.7 %

4.6 %

1.9 %

3.3 %

Pennsylvania

1,844,469

1,364,133

340,145

63,667

35,055

41,469

 

100 %

74.0 %

18.4 %

3.5 %

1.9 %

2.2 %

Rhode Island

145,832

105,735

29,884

5,061

2,357

2,795

 

100 %

72.5 %

20.5 %

3.5 %

1.6 %

1.9 %

South Carolina

615,572

406,594

148,380

23,978

24,008

12,612

 

100 %

66.1 %

24.1 %

3.9 %

3.9 %

2.0 %

South Dakota

132,300

104,019

18,402

4,804

2,239

2,836

 

100 %

78.6 %

13.9 %

3.6 %

1.7 %

2.1 %

Tennessee

815,861

569,955

174,045

30,369

24,496

16,996

 

100 %

69.9 %

21.3 %

3.7 %

3.0 %

2.1 %

Texas

3,171,910

2,260,206

619,158

125,290

102,646

64,610

 

100 %

71.3 %

19.5 %

3.9 %

3.2 %

2.0 %

Utah

423,340

352,860

48,679

9,719

4,759

7,323

 

100 %

83.4 %

11.5 %

2.3 %

1.1 %

1.7 %

Vermont

93,936

71,565

14,810

3,976

960

2,625

 

100 %

76.2 %

15.8 %

4.2 %

1.0 %

2.8 %

Virginia

975,841

708,109

183,835

34,833

26,347

22,717

 

100 %

72.6 %

18.8 %

3.6 %

2.7 %

2.3 %

Washington

817,099

603,804

138,985

33,972

14,713

25,625

 

100 %

73.9 %

17.0 %

4.2 %

1.8 %

3.1 %

West Virginia

315,095

240,919

49,429

11,450

7,142

6,155

 

100 %

76.5 %

15.7 %

3.6 %

2.3 %

2.0 %

Wisconsin

853,282

655,544

142,521

26,234

10,472

18,511

 

100 %

76.8 %

16.7 %

3.1 %

1.2 %

2.2 %

Wyoming

92,112

72,594

12,600

3,531

1,457

1,930

 

100 %

78.8 %

13.7 %

3.8 %

1.6 %

2.1 %

                           

U.S. TOTAL

41,655,434

29,673,627

8,324,603

1,607,251

1,069,051

980,902

 

100 %

71.2 %

20.0 %

3.9 %

2.6 %

2.4 %

Table 2.3 Living Arrangements of U.S. Children by State and Region, 1990

Table 2.3 Living Arrangements of U.S. Children, by State and Region

1990 Census, STF3A

 

CHILD LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

 

Population Percentages as % of all children 0-17

Conditional Percentages as % of children not with 2 parents

 
Region

STATE

N CHILDREN AGES 0-17

Living without 2 Parents

Living with Mother

Living with Father

Living with Relative

Living in Unrelated or no HH

Living with Mother

Living with Father

Living with Relative

Living in Unrelated or no HH

Living w/ Rel. as % of children w/ no par

NonRel. as % of children w/ no par

  (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)  

NE:

Connecticut

749,783

25.8%

19.4%

3.0%

1.5%

1.9%

75.4%

11.6%

5.8%

7.2%

44.7%

55.3%

 

Maine

309,300

23.2%

16.0%

3.6%

1.1%

2.5%

69.0%

15.4%

4.8%

10.8%

30.6%

69.4%

 

Massachusetts

1,351,385

25.9%

20.1%

2.7%

1.3%

1.8%

77.6%

10.5%

4.9%

7.0%

41.5%

58.5%

 

New Hampshire

279,123

19.6%

13.2%

3.4%

0.9%

2.1%

67.2%

17.4%

4.8%

10.7%

30.8%

69.2%

 

New Jersey

1,798,664

26.7%

19.3%

3.7%

2.0%

1.7%

72.4%

13.9%

7.4%

6.3%

54.1%

45.9%

 

New York

4,256,301

32.2%

23.6%

4.0%

2.4%

2.3%

73.3%

12.3%

7.4%

7.0%

51.5%

48.5%

 

Pennsylvania

2,796,942

25.7%

18.5%

3.6%

1.7%

1.9%

72.0%

13.9%

6.5%

7.6%

46.1%

53.9%

 

Rhode Island

226,005

26.6%

20.1%

3.5%

1.4%

1.6%

75.7%

13.0%

5.1%

6.1%

45.5%

54.5%

 

Vermont

143,580

22.7%

15.3%

4.3%

0.9%

2.3%

67.2%

18.7%

4.0%

10.1%

28.2%

71.8%

MW:

Illinois

2,947,821

28.4%

21.1%

3.6%

1.9%

1.8%

74.4%

12.6%

6.8%

6.3%

52.0%

48.0%

 

Indiana

1,457,525

24.9%

17.8%

3.5%

1.6%

2.0%

71.6%

14.0%

6.5%

7.9%

45.0%

55.0%

 

Iowa

719,344

19.6%

13.7%

2.8%

1.0%

1.9%

70.3%

14.5%

5.3%

9.9%

35.1%

64.9%

 

Kansas

662,002

21.6%

15.2%

3.1%

1.4%

1.9%

70.5%

14.4%

6.5%

8.6%

43.1%

56.9%

 

Michigan

2,461,723

29.5%

22.2%

3.6%

1.8%

2.0%

75.2%

12.1%

5.9%

6.7%

46.9%

53.1%

 

Minnesota

1,167,909

19.4%

13.9%

3.0%

0.8%

1.7%

71.9%

15.2%

4.1%

8.9%

31.4%

68.6%

 

Missouri

1,315,470

26.2%

19.1%

3.3%

1.8%

2.0%

73.1%

12.6%

6.8%

7.5%

47.6%

52.4%

 

Nebraska

429,187

19.7%

14.4%

2.8%

1.0%

1.5%

72.9%

14.1%

5.3%

7.7%

40.5%

59.5%

 

North Dakota

175,681

17.3%

12.3%

2.6%

0.8%

1.5%

71.2%

15.2%

4.6%

8.9%

34.2%

65.8%

 

Ohio

2,803,796

26.9%

20.0%

3.4%

1.7%

1.7%

74.6%

12.7%

6.4%

6.3%

50.3%

49.7%

 

South Dakota

198,945

21.0%

14.0%

3.6%

1.5%

1.9%

66.7%

17.1%

7.2%

8.9%

44.8%

55.2%

 

Wisconsin

1,290,734

22.8%

16.8%

3.1%

1.1%

1.9%

73.6%

13.4%

4.7%

8.4%

35.8%

64.2%

S:

Alabama

1,060,001

31.8%

23.6%

3.6%

3.2%

1.5%

74.0%

11.4%

10.0%

4.6%

68.3%

31.7%

 

Arkansas

621,268

28.6%

20.5%

3.5%

2.9%

1.7%

71.7%

12.2%

10.3%

5.9%

63.7%

36.3%

 

Delaware

163,007

28.4%

19.7%

4.3%

2.4%

1.9%

69.6%

15.3%

8.5%

6.6%

56.2%

43.8%

 

Dist Columbia

116,624

65.2%

48.3%

6.4%

6.0%

4.6%

74.1%

9.8%

9.2%

7.0%

56.8%

43.2%

 

Florida

2,864,500

32.6%

22.3%

4.7%

3.0%

2.5%

68.5%

14.6%

9.3%

7.7%

54.8%

45.2%

 

Georgia

1,730,650

32.9%

24.1%

3.8%

3.0%

2.0%

73.3%

11.4%

9.2%

6.0%

60.6%

39.4%

 

Kentucky

955,618

25.4%

18.2%

3.2%

2.2%

1.8%

71.7%

12.7%

8.5%

7.1%

54.3%

45.7%

 

Louisiana

1,229,277

36.3%

27.5%

4.0%

3.1%

1.7%

75.7%

11.1%

8.5%

4.7%

64.3%

35.7%

 

Maryland

1,162,222

30.9%

22.2%

4.2%

2.4%

2.2%

71.8%

13.4%

7.7%

7.1%

51.9%

48.1%

 

Mississippi

747,371

38.4%

28.9%

4.3%

3.7%

1.5%

75.3%

11.2%

9.5%

3.9%

70.8%

29.2%

 

North Carolina

1,608,493

30.4%

21.7%

3.9%

2.9%

1.8%

71.6%

12.7%

9.6%

6.1%

61.3%

38.7%

 

Oklahoma

836,845

26.2%

18.2%

3.7%

2.4%

1.9%

69.5%

14.1%

9.2%

7.2%

56.0%

44.0%

 

South Carolina

922,048

33.7%

24.7%

3.9%

3.4%

1.7%

73.3%

11.5%

10.1%

5.1%

66.4%

33.6%

 

Tennessee

1,215,656

29.8%

21.8%

3.6%

2.6%

1.8%

73.0%

12.2%

8.7%

6.1%

58.8%

41.2%

 

Texas

4,835,352

28.0%

19.5%

4.0%

2.7%

1.8%

69.8%

14.2%

9.7%

6.4%

60.4%

39.6%

 

Virginia

1,504,327

26.6%

18.7%

3.6%

2.3%

2.0%

70.3%

13.4%

8.7%

7.7%

53.0%

47.0%

 

West Virginia

444,206

23.5%

16.2%

3.7%

2.0%

1.7%

68.9%

15.6%

8.4%

7.2%

53.8%

46.2%

W:

Alaska

171,688

24.3%

15.1%

5.1%

1.5%

2.6%

61.9%

21.1%

6.2%

10.8%

36.4%

63.6%

 

Arizona

978,783

29.4%

19.8%

5.2%

2.1%

2.3%

67.5%

17.6%

7.2%

7.7%

48.2%

51.8%

 

California

7,739,479

30.1%

19.1%

5.2%

2.7%

3.0%

63.6%

17.4%

9.0%

9.9%

47.7%

52.3%

 

Colorado

859,986

25.1%

17.9%

3.8%

1.4%

1.9%

71.3%

15.3%

5.6%

7.8%

41.9%

58.1%

 

Hawaii

280,225

26.0%

16.5%

5.0%

2.2%

2.3%

63.3%

19.4%

8.5%

8.9%

48.8%

51.2%

 

Idaho

307,837

18.6%

12.2%

3.3%

1.2%

1.9%

65.7%

17.9%

6.3%

10.1%

38.4%

61.6%

 

Montana

222,787

23.1%

15.4%

3.8%

1.3%

2.6%

66.8%

16.3%

5.5%

11.4%

32.4%

67.6%

 

Nevada

294,759

30.2%

19.4%

5.5%

2.1%

3.2%

64.2%

18.1%

7.0%

10.7%

39.6%

60.4%

 

New Mexico

446,439

30.4%

19.9%

6.1%

2.4%

2.0%

65.3%

20.2%

8.0%

6.5%

55.0%

45.0%

 

Oregon

724,407

25.9%

16.6%

4.7%

1.6%

3.0%

64.2%

18.1%

6.2%

11.5%

34.8%

65.2%

 

Utah

627,928

16.1%

11.5%

2.3%

0.9%

1.4%

71.3%

14.2%

5.6%

8.9%

38.6%

61.4%

 

Washington

1,258,460

25.2%

16.7%

4.2%

1.5%

2.8%

66.4%

16.5%

6.1%

11.0%

35.5%

64.5%

 

Wyoming

135,081

20.7%

14.0%

3.6%

1.3%

1.8%

67.6%

17.5%

6.1%

8.7%

41.4%

58.6%

 

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11)

(12)

 

Table 2.4 Living Arrangements of U.S. Children by Region, 1990

Table 2.4 Living Arrangements of U.S. children, by Region

1990 Census, STF3A

CHILD LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

     

Population Percentages as % of all children 0-17

 

Conditional Percentages as % of children not with 2 parents

 
Region N Children ages 0-17  

Living without 2 Parents

Living with Mother

Living with Father

Living with Relative

Living in Unrelated or no HH

 

Living with Mother

Living with Father

Living with Relative

Living in Unrelated or no HH

Living w/Rel. as % of children w/ no pars

Northeast

11,911,083

 

28.0%

20.5%

3.6%

1.9%

2.0%

 

73.2%

12.9%

6.7%

7.2%

48.2%

                           

Midwest

15,630,137

 

25.5%

18.8%

3.3%

1.6%

1.8%

 

73.6%

13.1%

6.1%

7.2%

45.9%

                           

South

22,017,465

 

30.5%

21.8%

4.0%

2.8%

1.9%

 

71.5%

13.0%

9.2%

6.3%

59.4%

                           

West

14,047,859

 

27.8%

18.1%

4.8%

2.2%

2.7%

 

64.9%

17.4%

8.0%

9.7%

45.3%

                           

U.S. Total

63,606,544

 

28.2%

20.0%

3.9%

2.2%

2.1%

 

70.9%

13.9%

7.8%

7.4%

58.1%

Table 2.5 Correlation Matrix of Child Living Arrangement Distribution for U.S. States, 1990

Table 2.5 Correlation Matrix of Child Living Arrangement Distribution for U.S. States, 1990

 

Population Percentages as % of all children

 

Conditional Percentages as % of children living w/ <2 parents

 

Conditional Percents as % child living w/ no parents

     
 

(2)

MotherOnly

(3) Father Only

(4) Relative Care

(5) Unrelated Care

 

(6) Mother Only

(7) Father Only

(8) Relative Care

(9) Unrelated Care

 

(10)

Relatives (vs unrel)

 

LIVING ARRANGEMENT

 

A

0.97

0.53

0.89

0.10

C

0.26

-0.40

0.71

-0.64

F

0.78

 

Not 2 Parents

(1)

 
 

B

0.31

0.84

-0.09

D

0.50

-0.60

0.64

-0.76

G

0.80

 

Mother Only

(2)

   

0.46

0.63

 

-0.61

0.56

0.38

0.09

 

0.20

 

Father Only

(3)

   

-0.04

 

0.15

-0.37

0.94

-0.67

 

0.92

 

Relative, No Parent

(4)

     

-0.69

0.57

-0.09

0.68

 

-0.39

 

Unrelated, No Parent

(5)

 
    E

-0.93

0.02

-0.73

H

0.39

 

Mother | Not 2

(6)

     

-0.28

0.73

 

-0.54

 

Father | Not 2

(7)

 

N=50 States

-0.59

 

0.91

 

Relative | Not 2

(8)

  (D.C. excluded as extreme outlier)  

-0.87

 

Unrelated | Not 2

(9)

 

Coefficients >.3 or < .-3 are significant at .05

         
Source: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, STF3A

Section III: Formal and Informal Kinship Care in Four States

Figure 3.1 Foster Care Caseloads by Type of Care, Four States

 src=

Table 3.1 Living Arrangements of Children in Four States, 1990

Table 3.1 Living arrangements of Children in Four States, 1990

Foster Care Counts by Kinship Status included

A. COUNTS BY LIVING ARRANGEMENT
 

Total Children 0-17

 

Two Parents

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

Mother only Father only Formal (FC) Informal Foster Care Other Unrel.

Missouri

1,315,470

 

971,142

251,634

43,538

627

22,764

4,380

21,385

Illinois

2,947,821

 

2,111,894

621,807

105,000

7,653

49,140

9,457

42,870

California

7,739,479

 

5,413,564

1,479,605

405,702

29,806

180,464

32,157

198,181

New York

4,256,301

 

2,885,048

1,004,558

168,432

22,937

79,153

29,322

66,851

Four States

16,259,071

 

11,381,648

3,357,604

722,672

61,023

331,521

75,316

329,287

B. AS PERCENTAGE OF ALL CHILDREN 0-17

  Total Children 0-17   Two Parents

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

Mother only Father only Formal (FC) Informal Foster Care Other Unrel.

Missouri

1,315,470

 

73.82%

19.13%

3.31%

0.05%

1.73%

0.33%

1.63%

Illinois

2,947,821

 

71.64%

21.09%

3.56%

0.26%

1.67%

0.32%

1.45%

California

7,739,479

 

69.95%

19.12%

5.24%

0.39%

2.33%

0.42%

2.56%

New York

4,256,301

 

67.78%

23.60%

3.96%

0.54%

1.86%

0.69%

1.57%

Four States

16,259,071

 

70.00%

20.65%

4.44%

0.38%

2.04%

0.46%

2.03%

C. AS PERCENTAGE OF THOSE CHILDREN 0-17 LIVING w/o 2 PARENTS

     

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Child 0-17 w/o 2 Pars

   

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel.

Missouri

344,328

   

73.08%

12.64%

0.18%

6.61%

1.27%

6.21%

Illinois

835,927

   

74.39%

12.56%

0.92%

5.88%

1.13%

5.13%

California

2,325,915

   

63.61%

17.44%

1.28%

7.76%

1.38%

8.52%

New York

1,371,253

   

73.26%

12.28%

1.67%

5.77%

2.14%

4.88%

Four States

4,877,423

   

68.84%

14.82%

1.25%

6.80%

1.54%

6.75%

D. CHILDREN LIVING WITH RELATIVES ONLY (PARENT ABSENT)

(counts)

(percents)

 

Total 0-17

 

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

Total

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

   

Missouri

23,391

 

627

22,764

100.00%

2.7%

97.3%

   

Illinois

56,793

 

7,653

49,140

100.00%

13.5%

86.5%

   

California

210,270

 

29,806

180,464

100.00%

14.2%

85.8%

   

New York

102,090

 

22,937

79,153

100.00%

22.5%

77.5%

   

Four States

392,544

 

61,023

331,521

100.00%

15.5%

84.5%

   

Table 3.2a Living Arrangements of Children Ages 0-5 in Four States, 1990

Table 3.2a Living Arrangements of Children Ages 0-5 in Four States, 1990

Foster Care Counts by Kinship Status included.

A. COUNTS BY LIVING ARRANGEMENT

   

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Total Children 0-5

 

Two Parents

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

                   

Missouri

442,924

 

330,754

85,893

14,585

185

5,005

1,886

4,616

Illinois

1,015,548

 

737,932

212,223

37,448

2,970

11,055

3,997

9,923

California

2,842,506

 

2,033,367

526,502

160,747

13,770

38,197

13,663

56,260

New York

1,494,584

 

1,032,007

344,380

62,775

11,762

15,121

15,233

13,306

Four States

5,795,562

 

4,134,060

1,168,998

275,555

28,687

69,378

34,779

84,105

                   

B. AS PERCENTAGE OF ALL CHILDREN 0-5

 

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Total Children 0-5

 

Two Parents

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

Missouri

442,924

 

74.68%

19.39%

3.29%

0.04%

1.13%

0.43%

1.04%

Illinois

1,015,548

 

72.66%

20.90%

3.69%

0.29%

1.09%

0.39%

0.98%

California

2,842,506

 

71.53%

18.52%

5.66%

0.48%

1.34%

0.48%

1.98%

New York

1,494,584

 

69.05%

23.04%

4.20%

0.79%

1.01%

1.02%

0.89%

Four States

5,795,562

 

71.33%

20.17%

4.75%

0.49%

1.20%

0.60%

1.45%

                   

C. AS PERCENTAGE OF THOSE CHILDREN 0-5 LIVING w/o 2 PARENTS

     

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Child 0-5 w/o 2 Pars

   

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

Missouri

112,170

   

76.57%

13.00%

0.16%

4.46%

1.68%

4.12%

Illinois

277,616

   

76.44%

13.49%

1.07%

3.98%

1.44%

3.57%

California

809,139

   

65.07%

19.87%

1.70%

4.72%

1.69%

6.95%

New York

462,577

   

74.45%

13.57%

2.54%

3.27%

3.29%

2.88%

Four States

1,661,502

   

70.36%

16.58%

1.73%

4.18%

2.09%

5.06%

                   

D. CHILDREN LIVING WITH RELATIVES ONLY (PARENT ABSENT)

(counts)

(percents)

 

Total 0-5

 

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

Total

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

   

Missouri

5,190

 

185

5,005

100.00%

3.56%

96.44%

   

Illinois

14,025

 

2,970

11,055

100.00%

21.18%

78.82%

   

California

51,967

 

13,770

38,197

100.00%

26.50%

73.50%

   

New York

26,883

 

11,762

15,121

100.00%

43.75%

56.25%

   

Four States

98,065

 

28,687

69,378

100.00%

29.25%

70.75%

   

Table 3.2b Living Arrangements of Children Ages 6-17 in Four States, 1990

Table 3.2b Living Arrangements of Children Ages 6-17 in Four States, 1990

Foster Care Counts by Kinship Status included.

A. COUNTS BY LIVING ARRANGEMENT

 

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Total Children 6-17

Two Parents

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

Missouri

872,546

640,388

165,741

28,953

441

17,760

2,487

16,776

Illinois

1,932,273

1,373,962

409,584

67,552

4,665

38,103

5,429

32,978

California

4,896,973

3,380,197

953,103

244,955

15,994

142,309

18,351

142,064

New York

2,761,717

1,853,041

660,178

105,657

11,157

64,050

14,033

53,601

Four States

10,463,509

7,247,588

2,188,606

447,117

32,257

262,222

40,300

245,419

                 

B. AS PERCENTAGE OF ALL CHILDREN 6-17

 

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Total Children 6-17

Two Parents

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

Missouri

872,546

73.39%

19.00%

3.32%

0.05%

2.04%

0.29%

1.92%

Illinois

1,932,273

71.11%

21.20%

3.50%

0.24%

1.97%

0.28%

1.71%

California

4,896,973

69.03%

19.46%

5.00%

0.33%

2.91%

0.37%

2.90%

New York

2,761,717

67.10%

23.90%

3.83%

0.40%

2.32%

0.51%

1.94%

Four States

10,463,509

69.27%

20.92%

4.27%

0.31%

2.51%

0.39%

2.35%

                 

C. AS PERCENTAGE OF THOSE CHILDREN 6-17 LIVING w/o 2 PARENTS

   

One Parent

Relative

Unrelated

 

Child 6-17 w/o 2 Pars

 

Mother only

Father only

Formal (FC)

Informal

Foster Care

Other Unrel

Missouri

232,158

 

71.39%

12.47%

0.19%

7.65%

1.07%

7.23%

Illinois

558,311

 

73.36%

12.10%

0.84%

6.82%

0.97%

5.91%

California

1,516,776

 

62.84%

16.15%

1.05%

9.38%

1.21%

9.37%

New York

908,676

 

72.65%

11.63%

1.23%

7.05%

1.54%

5.90%

Four States

3,215,921

 

68.06%

13.90%

1.00%

8.15%

1.25%

7.63%

                 

D. CHILDREN LIVING WITH RELATIVES ONLY (PARENT ABSENT)

(counts)

(percents)

 

Total 6-17

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

Total

Formal (FC) Kinship

Informal Kinship

   

Missouri

18,201

441

17,760

100.00%

2.4%

97.6%

   

Illinois

42,768

4,665

38,103

100.00%

10.9%

89.1%

   

California

158,303

15,994

142,309

100.00%

10.1%

89.9%

   

New York

75,207

11,157

64,050

100.00%

14.8%

85.2%

   

Four States

294,479

32,257

262,222

100.00%

11.0%

89.0%

   

Figure 3.2 Kinship Care Prevalence Rates, Four States, 1990

 src=

Figure 3.3 Percent Distribution of Child Kinship Living Arrangements by Type and Age Four States, 1990

 src=

Table 3.3a Living Arrangement and Kinship Care by County, California, 1990

Table 3.3a Living Arrangement and Kinship Care by County, California, 1990

      Living Arrangement Distribution   Kinship Care Counts Kinship Prevalence rates per 1,000   As % of Statewide Totals
COUNTY Child Population   Own child live with 2 parents Own child live with 1 parent Child with Relative Child with non- relative   Total N Formal FC Informal Formal FC Informal   Total Child Pop. Formal Kinship Pop. Informal Kinship Pop.

Los Angeles

2,323,294

 

66.1 %

27.4 %

3.4 %

3.1 %

 

79,796

14,108

65,688

6.1

28.3

 

30.0 %

47.4 %

36.4 %

San Diego

611,066

 

70.8 %

23.9 %

2.3 %

3.1 %

 

13,756

2,072

11,684

3.4

19.1

 

7.9 %

7.0 %

6.5 %

Orange

587,915

 

75.4 %

18.8 %

2.4 %

3.4 %

 

13,982

881

13,101

1.5

22.3

 

7.6 %

3.0 %

7.3 %

San Bernardino

438,380

 

71.0 %

23.7 %

2.5 %

2.8 %

 

11,093

1,172

9,921

2.7

22.6

 

5.7 %

3.9 %

5.5 %

Santa Clara

358,175

 

73.8 %

21.1 %

2.1 %

3.0 %

 

7,567

1,221

6,346

3.4

17.7

 

4.6 %

4.1 %

3.5 %

Riverside

333,468

 

73.4 %

21.4 %

2.4 %

2.8 %

 

7,927

697

7,230

2.1

21.7

 

4.3 %

2.3 %

4.0 %

Alameda

303,111

 

66.7 %

27.9 %

3.0 %

2.4 %

 

8,972

1,315

7,657

4.3

25.3

 

3.9 %

4.4 %

4.2 %

Sacramento

274,511

 

66.4 %

28.3 %

2.4 %

3.0 %

 

6,598

1,189

5,409

4.3

19.7

 

3.5 %

4.0 %

3.0 %

Fresno

209,128

 

65.9 %

28.2 %

3.0 %

2.8 %

 

6,321

592

5,729

2.8

27.4

 

2.7 %

2.0 %

3.2 %

Contra Costa

201,430

 

73.7 %

21.7 %

2.4 %

2.3 %

 

4,818

1,110

3,708

5.5

18.4

 

2.6 %

3.7 %

2.1 %

Ventura

182,908

 

76.5 %

18.5 %

2.1 %

2.9 %

 

3,863

155

3,708

0.8

20.3

 

2.4 %

0.5 %

2.1 %

Kern

170,976

 

66.9 %

27.5 %

2.7 %

2.8 %

 

4,677

649

4,028

3.8

23.6

 

2.2 %

2.2 %

2.2 %

San Joaquin

142,059

 

69.9 %

23.9 %

2.8 %

3.4 %

 

3,951

686

3,265

4.8

23.0

 

1.8 %

2.3 %

1.8 %

San Mateo

141,286

 

75.7 %

19.6 %

2.2 %

2.5 %

 

3,110

245

2,865

1.7

20.3

 

1.8 %

0.8 %

1.6 %

San Francisco

116,749

 

65.3 %

27.5 %

4.1 %

3.1 %

 

4,779

1,375

3,404

11.8

29.2

 

1.5 %

4.6 %

1.9 %

Stanislaus

113,116

 

72.7 %

22.1 %

2.3 %

2.8 %

 

2,645

204

2,441

1.8

21.6

 

1.5 %

0.7 %

1.4 %

Tulare

103,474

 

67.9 %

26.6 %

2.8 %

2.7 %

 

2,894

312

2,582

3.0

25.0

 

1.3 %

1.0 %

1.4 %

Solano

97,541

 

73.4 %

22.2 %

2.2 %

2.2 %

 

2,101

153

1,948

1.6

20.0

 

1.3 %

0.5 %

1.1 %

Monterey

97,523

 

73.4 %

21.2 %

2.5 %

2.8 %

 

2,486

67

2,419

0.7

24.8

 

1.3 %

0.2 %

1.3 %

Sonoma

95,447

 

74.6 %

20.6 %

1.6 %

3.2 %

 

1,537

82

1,455

0.9

15.2

 

1.2 %

0.3 %

0.8 %

Santa Barbara

85,451

 

73.4 %

21.6 %

2.0 %

3.0 %

 

1,719

160

1,559

1.9

18.2

 

1.1 %

0.5 %

0.9 %

Merced

60,744

 

71.2 %

23.8 %

2.3 %

2.7 %

 

1,377

120

1,257

2.0

20.7

 

0.8 %

0.4 %

0.7 %

Santa Cruz

54,395

 

73.6 %

20.8 %

1.6 %

4.1 %

 

864

64

800

1.2

14.7

 

0.7 %

0.2 %

0.4 %

San Luis Obispo

47,673

 

73.9 %

21.1 %

1.9 %

3.1 %

 

912

95

817

2.0

17.1

 

0.6 %

0.3 %

0.5 %

Placer

45,276

 

76.7 %

19.2 %

1.5 %

2.5 %

 

681

23

658

0.5

14.5

 

0.6 %

0.1 %

0.4 %

Marin

43,932

 

77.4 %

18.9 %

1.2 %

2.5 %

 

522

36

486

0.8

11.1

 

0.6 %

0.1 %

0.3 %

Butte

42,746

 

69.5 %

25.2 %

1.9 %

3.4 %

 

804

182

622

4.3

14.6

 

0.6 %

0.6 %

0.3 %

Shasta

40,203

 

69.6 %

23.8 %

2.4 %

4.2 %

 

957

72

885

1.8

22.0

 

0.5 %

0.2 %

0.5 %

Imperial

37,803

 

68.3 %

26.3 %

3.5 %

1.8 %

 

1,334

147

1,187

3.9

31.4

 

0.5 %

0.5 %

0.7 %

Yolo

33,668

 

72.3 %

22.7 %

2.2 %

2.9 %

 

738

55

683

1.6

20.3

 

0.4 %

0.2 %

0.4 %

El Dorado

33,155

 

78.0 %

17.6 %

1.5 %

2.9 %

 

501

9

492

0.3

14.8

 

0.4 %

0.0 %

0.3 %

Kings

30,801

 

69.2 %

25.6 %

2.7 %

2.5 %

 

838

82

756

2.7

24.5

 

0.4 %

0.3 %

0.4 %

Humboldt

30,458

 

68.4 %

26.7 %

2.1 %

2.8 %

 

646

88

558

2.9

18.3

 

0.4 %

0.3 %

0.3 %

Madera

27,373

 

69.1 %

25.3 %

2.7 %

2.9 %

 

734

67

667

2.4

24.4

 

0.4 %

0.2 %

0.4 %

Napa

25,850

 

75.1 %

20.3 %

1.8 %

2.8 %

 

457

25

432

1.0

16.7

 

0.3 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

Mendocino

21,859

 

68.3 %

25.5 %

2.5 %

3.7 %

 

543

52

491

2.4

22.5

 

0.3 %

0.2 %

0.3 %

Nevada

18,880

 

77.3 %

18.5 %

1.0 %

3.2 %

 

190

2

188

0.1

10.0

 

0.2 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Sutter

18,408

 

71.6 %

23.6 %

2.3 %

2.5 %

 

421

18

403

1.0

21.9

 

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

Yuba

18,333

 

68.6 %

25.7 %

2.1 %

3.6 %

 

392

22

370

1.2

20.2

 

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

Tehama

13,376

 

67.9 %

24.7 %

2.7 %

4.7 %

 

360

26

334

1.9

25.0

 

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

Lake

12,119

 

67.3 %

26.2 %

3.0 %

3.5 %

 

358

14

344

1.2

28.4

 

0.2 %

0.0 %

0.2 %

Siskiyou

11,658

 

72.2 %

22.5 %

2.1 %

3.3 %

 

242

3

239

0.3

20.5

 

0.2 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

San Benito

11,407

 

75.6 %

20.8 %

1.8 %

1.8 %

 

206

9

197

0.8

17.3

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Tuolumne

10,865

 

72.4 %

22.7 %

2.6 %

2.3 %

 

282

3

279

0.3

25.7

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.2 %

Calaveras

7,909

 

75.5 %

18.2 %

2.8 %

3.6 %

 

220

4

216

0.5

27.3

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Glenn

7,547

 

74.2 %

20.2 %

1.9 %

3.6 %

 

143

19

124

2.5

16.4

 

0.1 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

Lassen

6,798

 

76.7 %

18.9 %

1.4 %

3.0 %

 

94

23

71

3.4

10.4

 

0.1 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

Del Norte

6,306

 

68.5 %

26.2 %

1.7 %

3.6 %

 

107

20

87

3.2

13.8

 

0.1 %

0.1 %

0.0 %

Amador

5,610

 

80.7 %

15.7 %

1.6 %

2.0 %

 

91

3

88

0.5

15.7

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Plumas

5,071

 

71.8 %

23.6 %

2.1 %

2.5 %

 

105

5

100

1.0

19.7

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Colusa

5,038

 

77.7 %

17.4 %

2.7 %

2.2 %

 

138

4

134

0.8

26.6

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Inyo

4,460

 

70.4 %

24.2 %

2.6 %

2.9 %

 

114

4

110

0.9

24.7

 

0.1 %

0.0 %

0.1 %

Trinity

3,483

 

67.6 %

27.5 %

2.5 %

2.4 %

 

88

8

80

2.3

23.0

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Mariposa

3,195

 

75.1 %

19.4 %

2.8 %

2.6 %

 

91

5

86

1.6

26.9

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Modoc

2,670

 

70.7 %

20.7 %

2.9 %

5.6 %

 

78

0

78

0.0

29.2

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Mono

2,401

 

76.1 %

20.4 %

1.3 %

2.2 %

 

31

5

26

2.1

10.8

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Sierra

722

 

83.9 %

12.6 %

1.1 %

2.4 %

 

8

4

4

5.5

5.5

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

Alpine

279

 

55.6 %

37.6 %

3.9 %

2.9 %

 

11

1

10

3.6

35.8

 

0.0 %

0.0 %

0.0 %

                                 

California

7,739,479

 

69.9 %

24.4 %

2.7 %

3.0 %

 

210,270

29,764

180,506

3.8

23.3

 

100.0 %

100.0 %

100.0 %

                                 

Los Angeles

2,323,294

 

66.1 %

27.4 %

3.4 %

3.1 %

 

79,796

14,108

65,688

6.1

28.3

 

30.0 %

47.4 %

36.4 %

Balance of State

5,416,185

 

71.6 %

23.1 %

2.4 %

2.9 %

 

130,474

15,656

114,818

2.9

21.2

 

70.0 %

52.6 %

63.6 %

                                 

Figure 3.4 Kinship Prevalence by Type and Age in Four States by Region

 src=

Table 3.4 Children Ages 0-14 in Kinship Care Arrangements by Metro Status, Age Group, and Race/Ethnicity of Child, 1994

Table 3.4 Children Ages 0-14 in Kinship Care Arrangements by Metro Status, Age Group, and Race/Ethnicity of Child: 1994.

Percentages of all Children

   

Metropolitan

Non-Metropoplitan

U.S. Total

Race/Ethnicity

 

0-5

6-14

0-5

6-14

0-5

6-14

 

White

1.5

1.4

2.1

2.3

1.6

1.7

 

African American

7.0

7.7

10.0

10.2

7.4

8.0

 

Hispanic

2.6

3.2

2.6

3.9

2.6

3.3

 

Total

2.7

2.9

2.9

3.3

2.7

3.0

Table 3.5 Formal Kinship Foster Care Populations and Prevalence Rates by Race and Region for Four States, 1990

Table 3.5 Formal Kinship Foster Care Populations and Prevalence Rates by Race and Region for Four States, 1990.

State

Region

Child Population 0-17 years

Percent of State total

Percent African American

Kinship FC Prevalence rate per 1,000 children

Kinship FC Count Kinship FC %
 

All Children

African American

All Others

African American

All Others

African American

All Others

California

7,739,479

100 %

8.5 %

3.9

21.8

2.2

14,348

15,490

48 %

52 %

Los Angeles County

2,323,294

30.0 %

12.3 %

6.0

28.5

2.9

8,144

5,909

58 %

42 %

Balance of state

5,416,185

70.0 %

6.9 %

2.9

16.6

1.9

6,204

9,581

39 %

61 %

Illinois

2,947,821

100 %

18.8 %

2.5

10.7

0.6

5,918

1,502

80 %

20 %

Chicago City

723,482

24.5 %

47.4 %

7.1

13.6

1.3

4,664

495

90 %

10 %

Balance of state

2,224,339

75.5 %

9.4 %

1.0

6.0

0.5

1,255

1,008

55 %

45 %

New York

4,256,301

100 %

19.6 %

5.4

16.0

2.8

13,353

9,520

58 %

42 %

New York City

1,683,621

39.6 %

36.0 %

13.0

21.2

8.4

12,849

9,051

59 %

41 %

Balance of state

2,572,680

60.4 %

8.9 %

0.4

2.2

0.2

504

469

52 %

48 %

Missouri

1,315,470

100 %

13.5 %

0.5

1.7

0.3

301

357

46 %

54 %

St. Louis City

100,104

7.6 %

61.6 %

2.0

2.8

0.7

173

27

87 %

13 %

Balance of state

1,215,366

92.4 %

9.6 %

0.4

1.1

0.3

128

330

28 %

72 %

Four State Totals

16,259,071

100 %

13.7 %

3.7

15.3

1.9

33,921

26,868

56 %

44 %

Primary Cities

4,830,501

29.7 %

26.8 %

8.6

19.9

4.4

25,830

15,482

63 %

37 %

Balance of states

11,428,570

70.3 %

8.1 %

1.7

8.7

1.1

8,090

11,387

42 %

58 %

Figure 3.5 Prevalence Rates for Formal Kinship Foster Care by Race and Region, Four States, 1990

 src=

Section IV: Formal and Informal Kinship Care Dynamics in Illinois

Table 4.1 Illinois Children in Selected Living Arrangements, 1990-1995. Counts and Annual percentage changes

Table 4.1 Illinois Children in Selected Types of Living Arrangements, 1990-95
Counts of Children: Jun-90 Jun-91 Jun-92 Jun-93 Jun-94 Jun-95 Six-year Total Annual Average

Foster Care

               
Kinship Foster Parent 8,150 10,484 15,079 18,018 22,697 27,054 101,482 16,914
(Kin/FC)                
Unrelated Caregiver 12,438 13,066 14,561 15,965 18,582 21,380 95,992 15,999
(FC/Other)                
                 
AFDC Grantee                
Relative Case 16,058 16,266 16,205 16,337 16,628 16,415 97,909 16,318
(AFDC/Relative)                
Own-Parent Case 396,429 419,589 429,156 439,827 457,091 444,313 2,586,405 431,068
(AFDC/Parent)                
                 

Annual Percentage Changes:

  90-91 91-92 92-93 93-94 94-95   Five-year change
Kin/FC   29% 44% 19% 26% 19%   232%
FC/Other   5% 11% 10% 16% 15%   72%
AFDC/Relative   1% 0% 1% 2% -1%   2%
AFDC/Parent   6% 2% 2% 4% -3%   12%

Table 4.2 Children by Selected Living Arrangements: Illinois, 1990 and 1995. Counts, Category percentages, population percentages

Table 4.2 Children by Selected Types of Living Arrangement: Illinois 1990 and 1995.

 

Kinship Care Types

Comparison Populations

 

AFDC/ RELATIVE

RELATIVE FOSTER CARE

AFDC/ PARENT

UNRELATED FOSTER CARE

ALL ILLINOIS CHILDREN AGE 0-17

 

1990

1995

1990

1995

1990

1995

1990

1995

1990 only

                   

Count (N)

16,058

16,415

8,150

27,054

396,429

444,313

12,438

21,380

2,947,821

Cook County

10,927

10,342

6,216

23,166

261,698

293,419

6,811

14,162

1,280,439

Balance of State

5,131

6,073

1,934

3,888

134,731

150,894

5,627

7,218

1,667,382

                   

0 to 5 years

4,231

4,236

3,207

10,957

187,936

214,880

4,324

7,854

1,015,548

6 to 11 years

6,047

6,218

2,968

10,006

131,008

139,217

3,643

6,175

997,231

12 to 17 years

5,780

5,961

1,975

6,091

77,485

90,216

4,471

7,351

935,042

                   

African American

12,100

12,024

6,394

23,287

248,841

262,541

6,798

13,901

552,741

Other Races

3,958

4,391

1,756

3,767

147,588

181,772

5,640

7,479

2,395,080

                   

Female

8,099

8,392

4,194

13,893

195,957

221,539

5,973

10,139

1,437,449

Male

7,959

8,023

3,956

13,161

200,472

222,774

6,465

11,241

1,510,372

                   

Cook: AfrAmer

9,463

8,981

5,479

21,086

198,269

207,435

4,999

11,296

419,436

Other

1,464

1,361

737

2,080

63,429

85,984

1,812

2,866

861,003

Balance: AfrAmer

2,637

3,043

915

2,201

50,572

55,106

1,799

2,605

133,305

Other

2,494

3,030

1,019

1,687

84,159

95,788

3,828

4,613

1,534,077

                   

Category Percents:

                 

% of all Children in this livarr type

100 %

100 %

100%

100 %

100 %

100 %

100 %

100 %

100 %

Cook County

68 %

63 %

76 %

86 %

66 %

66 %

55 %

66 %

43 %

Balance of State

32 %

37 %

24 %

14 %

34 %

34 %

45 %

34 %

57 %

                   

0 to 5 years

26 %

26 %

39 %

41 %

47 %

48 %

35 %

37 %

34 %

6 to 11 years

38 %

38 %

36 %

37 %

33 %

31 %

29 %

29 %

34 %

12 to 17 years

36 %

36 %

24 %

23 %

20 %

20 %

36 %

34 %

32 %

                   

African American

75 %

73 %

78 %

86 %

63 %

59 %

55 %

65 %

19 %

Other Races

25 %

27 %

22 %

14 %

37 %

41 %

45 %

35 %

81 %

                   

Female

50 %

51 %

51 %

51 %

49 %

50 %

48 %

47 %

49 %

Male

50 %

49 %

49 %

49 %

51 %

50 %

52 %

53 %

51 %

                   

Cook: AfrAmer

59 %

55 %

67 %

78 %

50 %

47 %

40 %

53 %

14 %

Other

9 %

8 %

9 %

8 %

16 %

19 %

15 %

13 %

29 %

Balance: AfrAmer

16 %

19 %

11 %

8 %

13 %

12 %

14 %

12 %

5 %

Other

16 %

18 %

13 %

6 %

21 %

22 %

31 %

22 %

52 %

                   

Population Percents:

                 

% of all Illinois Children w/ Char.

0.5 %

0.6 %

0.3 %

0.9 %

13.4 %

15.1 %

0.4 %

0.7 %

100 %

Cook County

0.9 %

0.8 %

0.5 %

1.8 %

20.4 %

22.9 %

0.5 %

1.1 %

100 %

Balance of State

0.3 %

0.4 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

8.1 %

9.0 %

0.3 %

0.4 %

100 %

                   

0 to 5 years

0.4 %

0.4 %

0.3 %

1.1 %

18.5 %

21.2 %

0.4 %

0.8 %

100 %

6 to 11 years

0.6 %

0.6 %

0.3 %

1.0 %

13.1 %

14.0 %

0.4 %

0.6 %

100 %

12 to 17 years

0.6 %

0.6 %

0.2 %

0.7 %

8.3 %

9.6 %

0.5 %

0.8 %

100 %

                   

African American

2.2 %

2.2 %

1.2 %

4.2 %

45.0 %

47.5 %

1.2 %

2.5 %

100 %

Other Races

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

6.2 %

7.6 %

0.2 %

0.3 %

100 %

                   

Female

0.6 %

0.6 %

0.3 %

1.0 %

13.6 %

15.4 %

0.4 %

0.7 %

100 %

Male

0.5 %

0.5 %

0.3 %

0.9 %

13.3 %

14.7 %

0.4 %

0.7 %

100 %

                   

Cook: AfrAmer

2.3 %

2.1 %

1.3 %

5.0 %

47.3 %

49.5 %

1.2 %

2.7 %

100 %

Other

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.2 %

7.4 %

10.0 %

0.2 %

0.3 %

100 %

Balance: AfrAmer

2.0 %

2.3 %

0.7 %

1.7 %

37.9 %

41.3 %

1.3 %

2.0 %

100 %

Other

0.2 %

0.2 %

0.1 %

0.1 %

5.5 %

6.2 %

0.2 %

0.3 %

100 %

*Note: 1995 population proportions based on 1990 census tabulatons for denominator

Figure 4.1 Race/Subregion Distribution of Children in Kinship and Comparison Care Settings: Illinois

 src=

Figure 4.2 Prevalence of Kinship Care in Illinois by Race, Subregion, and Type of Kinship Setting

 src=

Table 4.3 Characteristics of Children Living in Kinship Care by Type of Care Arrangement: Illinois, 1990

Table 4.3 Characteristics of Children Living in Kinship Care by Type of Care Arrangement: Illinois 1990
 

ALL Kinship Children

INFORMAL Kinship Care Arrangements

FORMAL Kinship Care

 

Census

AFDC

OTHER

DCFS

         
Total Counts (N) 56,793 16,058 32,585 8,150
         
Cook County 34,595 10,927 17,452 6,216
Balance of State 22,198 5,131 15,133 1,934
         
0 to 5 years 14,025 4,231 6,587 3,207
6 to 17 years 42,768 11,827 25,998 4,943
         
Grandparent --- 12,715 --- ---
Other Relative --- 3,343 --- ---
         
% by Characteristics        
Total 100 % 100 % 100 % 100 %
Cook County 61 % 68 % 54 % 76 %
Balance of State 39 % 32 % 46 % 24 %
0 to 5 years 25 % 26 % 20 % 39 %
6 to 17 years 75 % 74 % 80 % 61 %
Grandparent --- 79 % --- ---
Other Relative --- 21 % --- ---
         
% of IL Kinship        
Total 100 % 28 % 57 % 14 %
Cook County 100 % 32 % 50 % 18 %
Balance of State 100 % 23 % 68 % 9 %
0 to 5 years 100 % 30 % 47 % 23 %
6 to 17 years 100 % 28 % 61 % 12 %

Table 4.4 Household Characteristics of Children in AFDC Relative and Parent Grant Units

Table 4.4 Household Characteristics of AFDC Relative and Parent Grant Units

 

Counts

 

Household w/ related Child in Grant Unit

Households w/own Child in Grant Unit

     
         
 

1990

1995

1990

1995

         

Total Count

13,975

15,813

408,131

460,571

         

No Own Children

9,019

9,820

0

0

One or more Own Chidren

4,956

5,993

408,131

460,571

         

No related children

0

0

392,153

441,360

One or more relative children

13,975

15,813

15,978

19,211

         

One Adult

7,037

8,566

310,983

343,378

Two or more adults

6,938

7,247

97,148

117,193

         

Key Adult Female

12,773

14,478

388,780

436,891

         

Key Adult's Age:

       

Under 25

1,353

1,482

103,016

117,179

25 - 29

1,132

1,320

110,838

110,384

30 - 39

2,473

3,223

153,608

182,444

40 - 49

3,013

3,534

32,491

43,507

50 - 59

3,619

3,571

5,454

5,532

60 - 69

1,824

1,959

498

562

70 and above

461

686

60

122

         

Key Adult's Marital:

       

Never married

3,667

4,992

224,837

257,184

Married

851

1,006

42,495

55,628

Deserted, Separated,..

2,708

2,104

80,782

71,820

Divorced

1,169

1,172

38,736

35,885

Widowed

442

356

2,260

1,795

Unknown

5,138

6,183

19,021

38,259

 

Percent Distributions:

100%

100%

100%

100%

No Own Children

65 %

62 %

0 %

0 %

One or more Own Chidren

35 %

38 %

100 %

100 %

One or more relative children

100 %

100 %

4 %

4 %

One Adult

50 %

54 %

76 %

75 %

Two or more adults

50 %

46 %

24 %

25 %

Key Adult Female

91 %

92 %

95 %

95 %

         

Key Adult Age:

       

Under 25

10 %

9 %

25 %

25 %

25 - 29

8 %

8 %

27 %

24 %

30 - 39

18 %

20 %

38 %

40 %

40 - 49

22 %

22 %

8 %

9 %

50 - 59

26 %

23 %

1 %

1 %

60 - 69

13 %

12 %

0 %

0 %

70 and above

3 %

4 %

0 %

0 %

         

Key Adult Marital Status:

       

Never married

26 %

32 %

55 %

56 %

Married

6 %

6 %

10 %

12 %

Deserted, Separated,..

19 %

13 %

20 %

16 %

Divorced

8 %

7 %

9 %

8 %

Widowed

3 %

2 %

1 %

0 %

Unknown

37 %

39 %

5 %

8 %

Figure 4.3 Age Distribution of Primary Caretaker by Relationship of Child to Grantee: Illinois AFDC

 src=

Table 4.5 Annual Movements between Public Aid and Child Welfare Statuses, Illinois. Average annual (June to June) transitions, 1990-91 through 1994-95

Table 4.5

Annual Movements between Public Aid and Child Welfare Statuses, Illinois. Average annual (June to June) transitions, 1990-91 through 1994-95.

 

TO: Service status one year later:

FROM: Service Status in June of Initial Year: AFDC/Parent AFDC/Rel FC/Kinship FC/Other Age Out Out of Scope Total
AFDC/Parent 328,945 2,136 3,445 1,872 10,430 84,127 430,955
AFDC/Rel 1,147 11,632 317 113 870 2,422 16,502
FC/Kinship 495 60 11,917 1,176 394 928 14,969
FC/Other 590 17 789 11,137 1,005 1,626 15,163
Not yet Born 36,659 402 750 919     477,589
Out of Scope 72,668 2,325 1,549 1,754      
  440,503 16,573 18,766 16,972 492,813    
Population comprised of all children who received an AFDC grant during some June from 1990 through 1995, and all children placed in a substitute care arrangement by IDCFS.
Note: individual children are commonly observed in more than one June placement.
FC/Other (other foster care) includes regular foster boarding care, congegregate care, independent living cases, and all cases not 'home of relative' or 'designated relative authority'.
Out of Scope cases are unobserved at the specific June in question, i.e. not active in an AFDC grant or in DCFS foster placement at that time.
Age Out status is defined as age 18, whether or not certain services continued after an eigtheenth birthday.
Shaded cells represent "stayers" with no net annual change in status.
Illinois Department of Public Aid, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Chapin Hall Center for Children Multiservice Database.

Table 4.6 Transitions From Living Arrangement Status Groups, Illinois

Table 4.6 Transitions From Living Arrangement Status Groups
Where children go from AFDC grant or Foster Care placement: Pattern of June --> June annual transitions.

4.6a Transition rates:

To Status of:            

From Status of:

AFDC-Parent AFDC-Rel Kinship FC Other FC Ageout OutScope  
               

AFDC-Parent

0.763 0.005 0.008 0.004 0.024 0.195 1.000

AFDC-Rel

0.070 0.705 0.019 0.007 0.053 0.147 1.000

Kinship FC

0.033 0.004 0.796 0.079 0.026 0.062 1.000

Other FC

0.039 0.001 0.052 0.734 0.066 0.107 1.000
               

4.6b Proportion of Movers (out) by destination

To Year 2:            

From: Year 1

AFDC-Parent AFDC-Rel Kinship FC Other FC Ageout OutScope  
               

AFDC-Parent

na 0.021 0.034 0.018 0.102 0.825 1.000

AFDC-Rel

0.236 na 0.065 0.023 0.179 0.497 1.000

Kinship FC

0.162 0.020 na 0.385 0.129 0.304 1.000

Other FC

0.147 0.004 0.196 na 0.250 0.404 1.000

Table 4.7 Composition of Living Arrangement Status Groups

Table 4.7

Composition of Living Arrangement Status Groups

 

Where children were: Composition of June caseloads by status from the previous June.

4.7a Composition of Year 2 by initial (year1) status

 

Into Year 2:

     
   

AFDC-Parent

AFDC-Rel

Kinship FC

Other FC

Coming from:

AFDC-Parent

74.7%

12.9%

18.4%

11.0%

Year 1

AFDC-Rel

0.3%

70.2%

1.7%

0.7%

 

Kinship FC

0.1%

0.4%

63.5%

6.9%

 

Other FC

0.1%

0.1%

4.2%

65.6%

 

Not Born

8.3%

2.4%

4.0%

5.4%

 

OutScope

16.5%

14.0%

8.3%

10.3%

   

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

           

4.7b Composition of movers (in) by initial status:

 

Into Year 2:

     
   

AFDC-Parent

AFDC-Rel

Kinship FC

Other FC

Coming from:

AFDC-Parent

na

43.2%

50.3%

32.1%

Year 1

AFDC-Rel

1.0%

na

4.6%

1.9%

 

Kinship FC

0.4%

1.2%

na

20.1%

 

Other FC

0.5%

0.4%

11.5%

na

 

Not Born

32.9%

8.1%

10.9%

15.8%

 

OutScope

65.1%

47.1%

22.6%

30.1%

   

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Table 4.8 Characteristics of Kinship Care Transition Groups, Illinois 1990-1995 Pooled Data

Table 4.8

Characteristics of Kinship Care Transition Groups: Illinois 1990-95 pooled data.

A

Children that make transition from AFDC/Relative:

 

C

Children that make transition from Kinship Foster Care:

 

To:

AFDC/Rel

Kin/FC

AFDC/Par

FC/Other

   

To:

AFDC/Rel

Kin/FC

AFDC/Par

FC/Other

 
 

Number of Children

58,161

1,586

5,736

565

   

Number of Children

301

59,583

2,473

5,878

 
 

Cook County

68 %

87 %

60 %

61 %

   

Cook County

43 %

88 %

58 %

77 %

 
 

Balance of State

32 %

13 %

40 %

39 %

   

Balance of State

57 %

12 %

42 %

23 %

 
 

Ages 0-5

25 %

35 %

50 %

23 %

   

Ages 0-5

52 %

42 %

50 %

33 %

 
 

Ages 6-11

41 %

38 %

28 %

30 %

   

Ages 6-11

35 %

38 %

35 %

29 %

 
 

Ages 12-17

34 %

28 %

21 %

47 %

   

Ages 12-17

13 %

20 %

16 %

38 %

 
 

African American

76 %

91 %

78 %

72 %

   

African American

69 %

88 %

73 %

76 %

 
 

Other Race

24 %

9 %

22 %

28 %

   

Other Race

31 %

12 %

27 %

24 %

 
 

Grandparent

81 %

76 %

78 %

69 %

               
 

Other

19 %

24 %

22 %

31 %

               
                           

B

Children that maketransition to AFDC/Relative:

 

D

Children that maketransition to Kinship Foster Care:

 
 

From:

AFDC/Rel

Kin/FC

AFDC/Par

FC/Other

   

From:

AFDC/Rel

Kin/FC

AFDC/Par

FC/Other

 
 

Number of Children

58,161

301

10,679

87

   

Number of Children

1,586

59,583

17,225

3,943

 
 

Cook County

68 %

43 %

62 %

44 %

   

Cook County

87 %

88 %

81 %

72 %

 
 

Balance of State

32 %

57 %

38 %

56 %

   

Balance of State

13 %

12 %

19 %

28 %

 
 

Ages 0-5

25 %

52 %

48 %

54 %

   

Ages 0-5

35 %

42 %

58 %

39 %

 
 

Ages 6-11

41 %

35 %

31 %

21 %

   

Ages 6-11

38 %

38 %

31 %

26 %

 
 

Ages 12-17

34 %

13 %

21 %

25 %

   

Ages 12-17

28 %

20 %

11 %

35 %

 
 

African American

76 %

69 %

76 %

72 %

   

African American

91 %

88 %

84 %

76 %

 
 

Other Race

24 %

31 %

24 %

28 %

   

Other Race

9 %

12 %

16 %

24 %

 

Appendix 1: Describing Kinship Care from Current Population Survey Data (Supplemental Material to Section I)

The analysis of children in kin care is based on data from the March Current Population Survey (CPS) for 1983 through 1994. "Children in kin care" or "kin-care children" refers to never-married children who do not live with their parents, but live with other adult relatives. Whether these children are in formal foster care arrangements cannot be ascertained from the CPS data. The CPS is a monthly survey of approximately 57,000 U.S. households.(1)

The March CPS includes detailed demographic and financial information. Since the number of children in kin care appearing in the CPS sample is small, we pooled data for three-year intervals to improve the reliability of the estimates. The analysis includes comparisons of children in kin care with children being cared for by their parents and, for 1989-91 and 1992-94, children in foster care. For all three groups, we limited our analysis to unmarried individuals aged 17 or younger. Other restrictions are noted below.

The Sample

In order to understand how we identified children in kin care and how we coded the characteristics of kin-care, parent-care, and foster children, it is necessary to understand how households and families are coded in the CPS. In each household in the CPS sample, someone, usually the individual who owns or rents the dwelling, is designated the household head. Anyone related to the household head is part of the "primary family." Within the primary family, there may also be "related subfamilies." A related subfamily contains a relative of the household head and the relative's spouse, or the relative's minor child, or both.(2)

Family groups not related to the household head are designated "unrelated subfamilies."(3)

Individuals unrelated to the household head or anyone else in the household are "unrelated individuals."

Identifying kin-care children, their caretakers, and their families. We defined kin-care children as children who were living with neither parent, but who were related to either the household head or the head of an unrelated subfamily.(4)

(Note that kin-care children cannot be members of related subfamilies.) For kin-care children in the primary family, we designated as kin-caretakers the head of the household and his or her spouse, if there was one. Family characteristics were based on the characteristics of the entire primary family, including members of related subfamilies. For kin-care children in an unrelated subfamily, we designated as kin-caretakers the head of the subfamily and his or her spouse, if there was one. Family characteristics were based on the characteristics of all individuals in the unrelated subfamily. To avoid tagging as kin-care children teenagers who were living with a slightly older sibling or another relative, we excluded children whose oldest putative caretaker was less than 18 years old or less than five years older than the child in question.

Identifying parent-care children, their parents, and their families. We designated individuals as being in parent care if they were the child of the head of household, the head of a related subfamily, or the head of an unrelated subfamily. The head of the household--or, if appropriate, the head of the subfamily--and his or her spouse, if there was one, were coded as the child's parents. For children in the primary family--including children in related subfamilies--we coded family characteristics using the characteristics of all individuals in the primary family.(5)
 

Identifying foster children, their foster parents, and their families. Starting in 1988, the CPS identified foster children in the sample. Because we pooled data into three-year groups, our comparisons of kin-care and foster children begins in 1989. The CPS data do not allow us to determine whether foster children are also kin-care children; that is, related to other household members. (The CPS data also do not allow us to identify whether kin-care children are also foster children; that is, children who have been placed with the relative by the state foster care agency.) We designate the household head and his or her spouse, if there is one, as the foster parents. Family characteristics are coded using data on all individuals in the primary family, including members of related subfamilies.

Family-level variables

The coding of most variables is straightforward. In the following section, we discuss the variables we coded especially for this analysis; that is, variables not included in the CPS. In some cases, the variables are similar to those in the CPS, but were coded somewhat differently. We also discuss variables for which the CPS definitions changed over the periods analyzed.

Poverty status. Starting in 1988, the CPS includes a single measure of poverty status for all members of the primary family. Before then, poverty status was calculated separately for related subfamilies. We recoded poverty status for 1983-87 so that it was comparable to the later years.

Educational attainment of caregiver. The attainment of the best educated caregiver, or parent, is used. Before 1992, the CPS provides the highest year of schooling attended and flag indicating whether this year of schooling was completed. Whether an individual has earned a degree must be inferred. For example, we assumed that all individuals who had completed exactly twelve years of schooling were high school graduates, that individuals who had between 13 and 16 years of schooling, but had not completed the 16th year, had attended, but not completed college, etc. In later years, the CPS provides explicit data on whether an individual has completed a degree.

Labor force status of caregiver. The labor force status of the caregiver or parent most attached to the labor force was used. In order of attachment, from highest to lowest, the possible statuses are: employed (which includes with a job, but not at work), unemployed (which includes looking for a job or on layoff), not in the labor force, or other (which includes individuals under age 15 and those in the armed forces).

Metropolitan status. This CPS variable indicates whether an individual lives in a metropolitan area. For 1983-85, the CPS measure is based on SMSAs; thereafter it is based on MSAs.

Program participation variables and earned income. We coded the program participation variables using data on all individuals in the child's family. For children in the primary family, including children in related subfamilies, program use by any individual in primary family is included in the measure. For children in unrelated subfamilies, program use by any individual in the subfamily is included. The types of programs examined were: public assistance/welfare, supplemental security income (SSI), social security, disability (1988-94 only), unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, receipt of free school lunches (a household-level variable), residence in public housing, receipt of rent subsidy, receipt of food stamps (a household-level variable). (Receipt of school lunches and receipt of food stamps are reported at the household, not the family, level in the CPS.) Similarly, the earned income variable is coded to indicate whether anyone in the child's family had earned income. Within the primary family, distinctions are not made between the main family and related subfamilies.

Relationship to kin-caregiver. We could not ascertain the relationship between kin-care children and their caretakers--specifically, whether the kin-caretaker was a grandparent--until 1989. Before that year, an individual was identified as the grandchild of the householder only if his or her parents were also present in the household (Weyland, 23 May 1996).

Race and ethnicity. We created a single variable indicating both the race of the child and whether that child was Hispanic. Before 1988, the CPS provided only three race categories: white, black, and other. Thereafter, the "other" category was broken into three categories: Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Eskimo, and other.

Notes on Personal Communications with Greg Weyland, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Demographic Surveys Division

May 23, 1996: He explained that prior to 1988, a person was identified as a grandchild of the householder ONLY if the child's parents were present. In other words, they would only know if a child was the grandchild of the householder if all three generations resided in the household.

June 4, 1996: He confirmed that from 1988 forward, there was no may to identify kin kids of an unrelated subfamily because they removed the classification "other relative of an unrelated subfamily reference person."

REFERENCES

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1994). Current Population Survey, March 1994 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1993). Current Population Survey, March 1993 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1992). Current Population Survey, March 1992 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1991). Current Population Survey, March 1991 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1990). Current Population Survey, March 1990 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1989). Current Population Survey, March 1989 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1988). Current Population Survey, March 1988 Rewrite [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1987). Current Population Survey, March 1987 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1986). Current Population Survey, March 1986 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1985). Current Population Survey, March 1985 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1984). Current Population Survey, March 1984 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1983). Current Population Survey, March 1983 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1995). Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995 (115th edition). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Weyland, Greg. (1996a) Personal Communication on May 23, 1996 from Greg Weyland, Demographic Surveys Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census to Karen Maguire, Urban Institute.

Weyland, Greg. (1996b) Personal Communication on June 4, 1996 from Greg Weyland, Demographic Surveys Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census to Karen Maguire, Urban Institute.

Appendix 2: Obtaining Living Arrangement Categories from STF3 Data Tables (Supplemental Material to Section II)

The Census information used in this report was obtained from the Summary Tape Files -- Level 3A information that is tabulated and publicly distributed by the Bureau of the Census. Most of the data was obtained electronically from the web site maintained by the Census Bureau.

The information about child living arrangements is not available from one single table in the STF data, but was computed with information from several different tabulations. Our living arrangement counts were produced from the following tables:

P13. AGE (31).

Universe: Persons

P74 PRESENCE AND AGE OF CHILDREN(2) BY EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PARENTS(8).

Universe: Own children under 18 in families and subfamilies.

P126 POVERTY STATUS IN 1989(2) BY FAMILY TYPE AND AGE(9).

Universe: Related Children under 18 years of age.

The reader should note here that the Census term 'related', as used in Table P126 is a broad category which includes "own-children" as well as other kinship relations. It should also be noted that the relationship data itself, except for the fact that a relation exists, is not comparable to the relation categories in P74. P126 categorized children by relation to the head of the household, and not by presence or absence of a parent.

Original Census Data Table Computational Elements Needed

Age and Total Child Population:

P13 1 Under 1 Year A. Children 0-5 = 13.1 + 13.2 + 13.3 + 3.4

2 1 and 2 years

3 3 and 4 years B. Children 6-17 = 13.5 + 13.6 +.....+ 13.12

4 5 years

5 6 years C. Children 0-17 = A + B

6 7 to 9 years

7 10 and 11 years

8 12 and 13 years

9 14 years

10 15 years

11 16 years

12 17 years

13-31 not used here


 

Own Children by Age and Living Arrangement:
 

P74 1 Under 6 years, 2 parents in labor force D. Own Child, two parents, 0-5

2 Under 6 years, 2 parents, father only in labor force = 74.1 + 74.2 + 74.3 + 74.4

3 Under 6 years, 2 parents, mother only in labor force

4 Under 6 years, 2 parents, neither in labor force E. Own Child, two parents, 6-17

5 Under 6 years, father only, in labor force = 74.9 + 74.10 + 74.11 + 74.12

6 Under 6 years, father only, not in labor force

7 Under 6 years, mother only, in labor force F. Own child, mother only, 0-5

8 Under 6 years, mother only, not in labor force = 74.7 + 74.8

9 6 to 17 years, 2 parents in labor force

10 6 to 17 years, 2 parents, father only in labor force G. Own child, mother only, 6-17

11 6 to 17 years, 2 parents, mother only in labor force = 74.15 + 74.16

12 6 to 17 years, 2 parents, neither in labor force

13 6 to 17 years, father only, in labor force H. Own child, father only, 0-5

14 6 to 17 years, father only, not in labor force = 74.5 + 74.6

15 6 to 17 years, mother only, in labor force

16 6 to 17 years, mother only, not in labor force I. Own child, father only, 6-17

= 74.13 + 74.14
 

Related Children by Age and Living Arrangement:
 

P126 1 Married-couple family, 0-4 years, above poverty J. Related Child 0-5

2 Married-couple family, 5 years, above poverty = 126.1 + 126.2 + 126.4

3 Married-couple family, 6-17 years, above poverty + 126.5 + 126.7 + 126.8

4 Male householder, no wife, 0-4 years, above poverty + 126.10 + 126.11 +126.13

5 Male householder, no wife, 5 years, above poverty + 126.14 + 126.16 + 126.17

6 Male householder, no wife, 6-17 years, above poverty

7 Female householder, no husband, 0-4 years, above poverty K. Related Child 6-17

8 Female householder, no husband, 5 years, above poverty = 126.3 + 126.6 + 126.9

9 Female householder, no husband, 6-17 years, above poverty + 126.12 + 126.15

10 Married-couple family, 0-4 years, below poverty + 126.18

11 Married-couple family, 5 years, below poverty

12 Married-couple family, 6-17 years, below poverty

13 Male householder, no wife, 0-4 years, below poverty

14 Male householder, no wife, 5 years, below poverty

15 Male householder, no wife, 6-17 years, below poverty

16 Female householder, no husband, 0-4 years, below poverty

17 Female householder, no husband, 5 years, below poverty

18 Female householder, no husband, 6-17 years, below poverty

Using the computational quantities derived from the raw Census tables as described above, the living arrangement distributions used in this section can be computed as follows:

0 - 5 years 6-17 years 0-17 years

Own Child, 2 parents D E D + E

Own Child, mother only F G F + G

Own Child, Father only H I H + I

Related Child, no parent J - ( D + F + H) K - ( E + G + I) (J + K) -

(D+E+F+G+H+I)

Unrelated Child ( A - J ) ( B - K) C - ( J + K )

Total Children A B C

As can be seen, own children indicators are obtained directly from combined counts, kinship indicators by subtracting own-children from "all related" children, and unrelated indicators by subtracting "all related" children from "all children".

 

1. 0 Institutionalized individuals are excluded from the CPS sample.

2. 0 Examples of a related subfamily are (1) the daughter of the household head and the daughter's baby; (2) the nephew of the household head and the nephew's wife; and (3) the sister of the household head, the sister's husband, and the sister's child.

3. 0 Examples of an unrelated subfamily are: (1) a live-in maid and her daughter; (2) a man and his nephew who rent a room in another--unrelated--family's house; and (3) a divorced woman, her son, and her daughter who share a house with another divorced woman--who has been designated the household head by the Census Bureau--and the second woman's daughter. In the last case, the "Kate and Allie" example, both mothers may have their names on the lease or mortgage, but the CPS only allows one to be designated the household head.

4. 0 Starting in 1988, kin-care children in unrelated subfamilies could not be identified because the Census Bureau limited membership in unrelated subfamilies to the head of the unrelated subfamily, his or her spouse, and his or her children (Weyland, 4 June 1996).

5. 0 For example, children of the head of household who have children of their own are coded as heads of a related subfamily, even if they are minors. In such a circumstance, we coded the young mother as a parent-care child, assigned the household head and his or her spouse as parents, and used data on all members of the primary family to generate the family-level variables.