June 28th, 2007
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I have been asked about how a family member goes about kinship placement and the laws, can kinship placement go over state lines, etc.

Kinship foster care placement is done differently in every state and in some, it differs with each county. Some states are starting to get laws and guidelines on kinship placements. My advice to anyone thinking of providing kinship placement for a relative is to think about how this might change the family dynamic.

If you are a family member that is in the process or their children are in foster care, do not wait on the biological parents to provide names of family members willing to care for the children. Sadly, some biological parents are unwilling to provide this information to the caseworkers. If you would like to provide kinship placement for a family member, get in contact with caseworker yourself. It probably would be a good idea to have your request in writing and mail it certified to the child welfare department. Always leave a paper trail:). If you do not get a reply, resubmit the request in writing and mail it certified to a supervisor a couple more times. You are creating proof that you as a family member have been willing to provide kinship placement for the children in question when the court hearing comes around.


A few states do not have standards or requirements for kinship placements unless you are requesting medical and money assistance from the state, then you would have to do some training and requirements as foster parents do.

Kinship placement going out of state changes things. I have had one foster child that I have experienced kinship placement out of state, it was a long process. There are many hoops for you to jump through with an out of state placement. You will face requirements for both states. I think the states like to cover themselves when a child is placed out of the state is why there is more hoops to jump through. Check with your state and the state the child is living in for their requirements.

More reading:

Two Sides of Kinship Foster Care

Kinship Foster Care

Problems with Kinship Foster Care as in the Florida Toddler

4 Responses to “How to Get Involved with a Kinship Placement?”

  1. jsmommyhoney says:

    I am the fost adopt mother of a 3 yr old that was placed with us at age 2. He was with us for 15 mons; he was recently reunified with his biological father who had not seen him for a yr; did not care to stop the abuse and neglect that was this child’s lot for 2yrs of his life. Our boy could not talk, did not smile and had no sense of joy when he was placed with us; he was underweight and under height and did not even have the words “baba” in vocabulary. In the last 15 mons he had blossomed, was talking and had a sense of joy & life. We had been assured that we would be able to adopt him as both parents seemed to not be interested in their child. 21/2 mons ago the father decided that he wanted his son after ignoring him for all this time. Even though we protested that more than half of our boy’s life was spent with us and this was a father that he did not know who also neglected him – case worker and the state’s position was that our little guy should be returned to a stranger because of a biological connection. The stable home that he has been reunified into is comprised of a step mother with three children of her own. The basis for the reunification decision was that our little boy played nicely with the girls – we have taught him how to go on play dates. Their was no bond evaluation – no verification of the father’s ability to care for him and no verification that this “family” was going to continue to be a functioning one a year down the road. They just wanted to beat the 15month ASFA deadline and our boy’s best interests be damned.

    The hardest thing that I have ever done is to tell my boy that he was leaving us, the only parents he knew; who he may never see again to go and live with his estranged father. It was so unbelievable to him that he asked his Daddy (my husband) for verification and also had us call his favorite Aunt for confirmation.

    Much is being made by politicians that they are putting children first; but our experience has been that children do not factor in the equation in the least. As far as the biological parents are concerned – their rights are paramount and they get every support necessary. Our boy would go crying and screaming for visits with his biological family but when we told the case worker this we were told that that is the way it is.

    I was reading that these parents vote – I can’t imagine that they have the time in their schedule to go and vote when basic necessities like taking care of their children are not done.

    The law needs to change – when do these kids get a fair shake. I think we as foster parents need to let our politicians know that we will hold them accountable if they do not start focusing on the rights of children rather than some bogus biological tie. An animal in this country has more rights than children – the ASPCA will arrest you if you neglect or abuse your pet but you can abuse hurt or neglect your children with impunity.

  2. ncfoster says:

    Hoping someone might have some advice for me.

    I am the adoptive parent of three children from the foster care system. When we left the system we made it known that any oher siblings that came along we would like to be notified and considered for adoption or placement of that child. Due to the lack of communication within the system there is a fourth child in foster care right now. she is placed with another family. This is a full blooded sibling of my children. But no one bothered to read the file or did anyone even put this information it in that file, provideing there is a file. These cases get transfered form one worker to the next and each time more information is lost. The blame shifts from this person to that person. The bottom line is that this poor little girl is being seperated form her brothers and sister. And all I get is ….”well she is in a good home with great foster parents who want to adopt her.” That’s all welll and good. But she should be with us and her siblings.
    I’m not heartless I do understand how devasteing it would be for that foster family to have a child for 4 or 5 months and fall in love with her. Has a foster parent though you know that at any given time that child could be uprooted. It is about the child and what is best for them. As a foster parent we’ve all gone thru it. It is never easy to see a child leave your care.If hypotheticly the bio parents had got their act together she’d go back to them.
    I feel that the other foster families feelings are being considered over my childrens,and our family.
    Am I right in believing that the system is failing these four children. I know that I read in the pervions for foster children one of the rights of every child within the system is—-the right to be placed with family members first, and the right to be placed with brothers and sisters. If this is true than WHY is our family being over looked. I even talked to the GAL which is also the same GAL that represented our 3 children. I got the same “OH WELL” attitude. I even told her point blank that we wanted to adopt this baby and keep the four siblings together. Her response was “well do what you have to do.” Now I’m being told that the GAL is the one that I should speak to, that they would be the best ones to make that recommendation on behave of the child. This GAL knows that, this baby has 3 siblings. I’ve called every one I can think of and I’m getting nowhere. The director of DSS has yet to return a phone call or answer an email. What can I do? can someone please help?

  3. babyblue says:

    You may have to do what I did. I contacted the Governor of our state and after 4 months of crickets that took care of things. We have been trying to get our nephew from strangers since he was 3 days old and got nothing from the caseworker or the ICPC until I got fed up and contacted the Governors office. Within 2 days the home study was set up and people were jumping thru hoops to help us.

  4. babyblue says:

    Sorry I didn’t even see that this was an old post. I hope everything worked out for you.

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