Kinship care refers to children being provided temporary or permanent care by relatives or close family friends referred to as fictive kin. Relatives are frequently the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it maintains the children’s connections with their families and other meaningful relationships. Kinship care is often considered a type of family preservation service and may involve foster care and/or adoption.
Kinship care may be formal and involve a training and licensure process for the caregivers, monthly payments to help with the costs of caring for the child, and support services. This is generally kinship foster care which may end with a finalized adoption. Kinship care may also be informal and involve only an assessment process to ensure the safety and suitability of the home along with supportive services for the child and caregivers. Approximately 25% of the children in out-of-home care are living with relatives.
Through extensive support and services, CHS is dedicated to helping kinship foster parents give children the love and support they need in order to cope with feelings of grief and loss until a permanent plan is determined. Kinship foster families receive a stipend determined by the state each month of non-taxable funds to assist with the cost of clothing, feeding and housing the child. Families may also receive Medicaid for children’s medical care and other financial assistance to provide special enrichment experiences for children in their care. All kinship foster families are required to complete annual training to maintain their foster care license.
For more information on next steps for kinship foster care, visit our foster care page.