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Support Gap in Kinship Care

Support Gap in Kinship Care

Happy Sunday! Every week or so I browse the web to gather kinship news from across the US and post it in our news section here. This week I came across a well written blog post that calls out the benefits of kinship care for children and the lacking governmental and financial support for kinship carers by John Oliver Santiago for the New American Media Entho Blog that I would like to highlight.

Support Gap in Kinship Care

“There are currently 2.7 million kids in the U.S. who are under kinship care. And according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this number has increased 18% from 2001 to 2010. There are many ways children can end up in kinship care including parental death, incarceration, abuse, or service in the military.

Kinship care includes children who are currently under the care of non-parental relatives: grandparents, uncles, aunts, or family friends, and can be broken down into two types: private or public. Private kinship is an informal arrangement made within the family, while public kinship is made through the foster care system.

Since one in every four foster kids are already living with relatives, it’s surprising that more aren’t placed under public kinship care. The foster system is a highly bureaucratic process meant to ensure the utter safety of these kids, but has this produced an oversight where kinship care is leapfrogged and kids in the foster system are placed with strangers?

For example, a longtime friend has been trying to gain custody of her two younger sisters for the past few years. Though she and her father live together and show a capacity to provide for the two sisters, they’ve only succeeded in gaining visitation rights and time spent with the girls. The many legalities that the family has to go through to gain custody has only brought further emotional toll on all parties involved.

According to the study, placing kids in kinship care eases the emotional toll of parental removal. But kinship care is also burdened with many problems, namely a lack of government support.”to read the complete post, visit the blog here.

If you have any personal stories of experience with kinship care you would like to share here, please contact ali@fosterkinship.org.