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Kinship care for children removed from home due to maltreatment

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Community Members Local Government State Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: <1% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

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).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased foster care placement stability
Improved mental health
Improved child behavior

Evidence of Effectiveness

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).

Implementation

United States

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).

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has a kinship care program with coordinators available in every county (WI DCF-Kinship).

Citations - Description

Cochrane-Winokur 2009* - Winokur M, Holtan A, Valentine D. Kinship care for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(1):CD006546. Accessed on November 24, 2015

Citations - Evidence

Cochrane-Winokur 2009* - Winokur M, Holtan A, Valentine D. Kinship care for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(1):CD006546. Accessed on November 24, 2015
Farmer 2010* - Farmer E. What factors relate to good placement outcomes in kinship care? British Journal of Social Work. 2010;40(2):426-44. Accessed on February 5, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Hegar 2009* - Hegar RL, Rosenthal JA. Kinship care and sibling placement: Child behavior, family relationships, and school outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review. 2009;31(6):670-9. Accessed on February 4, 2016
WI DCF-Kinship - Wisconsin Department of Children & Families (DCF). Kinship care program. Accessed on November 19, 2015

Page Last Updated

April 30, 2013

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