Kin/Relative Caregiver

What is Kinship care?

In the United States, more than 6 million children live in homes where the head of the household is a grandparent or other relative. Current research shows that children and youth who live with kin often benefit because they are more likely to:

  • Remain with their siblings
  • Report being happy
  • Stabilize in their own school
  • Maintain family cultural practices

California law requires that when a child is removed from their home, relatives are searched for and if found, contacted and informed about the child’s removal. This allows relatives the option of helping the child during this difficult time.

“Kinship Care” refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or any non-relative adult, who has a long-standing relationship or bond with the child and/or family, has taken over the full-time, substitute care of a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to do so.  Kinship caregivers may be grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or family friends of the children in their care.

Common questions for kin deciding if they can provide care for a relative:

When considering how you may be able to help a child during this critical time, it is important to understand the child’s needs and assess your family’s ability to meet them. Questions that you may ask yourselves include:

  • What is my relationship to and with the child?
  • Do I understand the circumstances surrounding the child’s removal from his or her parents?
  • How do I feel about the circumstances?
  • Will I be able to set boundaries with the parents?
  • Will I support the child’s return to his/her parents when it is deemed safe by Foster VC Kids?
  • Will I be able to offer the child a permanent home through guardianship or adoption if the child is not able to return to his/her parents?
  • Can I commit to the well-being of the child?
  • Will I need financial assistance to care for the child?