|Health Factors:||Community Safety|
|Decision Makers:||Community Members Local Government State Government|
|Population Reach:||<1% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.
Kinship care is full-time care by relatives, tribe members, godparents, or other adults who are not a child’s parents but who have a kinship bond with a child. Children may be placed in kinship care through a child welfare agency or through private arrangements as an alternative to placement with unrelated foster parents (Cochrane-Winokur 2009).
There is strong evidence that children in kinship care fare better than similar children in non-kinship care. Kinship care results in more stable placement, fewer mental health issues for the child, and development of more competent, adaptive behavior by the child than non-kinship care (Cochrane-Winokur 2009).
A UK-based study suggests that kin carers feel more committed to the child than non-kin carers, and are more likely to continue caring for the child despite behavioral problems and other difficulties. Placements with grandparents may be especially likely to last. Supervision while children visit their parents may also improve kinship placement stability (Farmer 2010).
Recognition of kinship caregiving increased substantially after the Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that states must pay relatives the foster care board rate if they become licensed foster parents. However, there is still great variation in how extensively states use kinship foster homes (Hegar 2009).
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has a kinship care program with coordinators available in every county (WI DCF-Kinship).
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