May 21st, 2007
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Kinship foster care is when the court makes a family member responsible for the care of a child that a child welfare agency has moved. The agency will look for a willing family member to care for the child before placing them in out of home foster placement. A lot of family members do not want to get involved with a family member losing their children, so this is not always an option for children coming into foster care.

In some states the court does not need to be involved if the child welfare agency decides that the kinship placement will be safe for the child. The family member may agree to care for the child before the courts become involved and this also limits the involvement of the child welfare agency. The child welfare agency most likely will check on the child from time to time to ensure they have not been returned to the abusive home.


Caring for neglected and abused children can lead to hardships in kinship foster care. They do not always receive the support or resources that are available to foster parents. Most children involved in a kinship foster placement are not in the state’s custody. I have seen the increase of the courts looking for family members to place the foster child with and child welfare remaining in the picture for awhile.

With kinship foster care every state does things so differently than others and also have several different ways to handle it. This makes giving information on kinship fostering a rather difficult task, since it is varies from state to state. If anyone would like to share their experiences or basic information with kinship foster care please post below or you can email me

I will be writing more about kinship foster care in the future, so check back.

Related articles at

Social Workers Reexamine Kinship Care

Grandparent/Kinship Families

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