Frequently Asked Questions about Kinship
What is kinship care?
Kinship care is the full-time nurturing and protection of children and youth by kin. Kin are relatives, persons ascribed by the family as having a family-like relationship or individuals that have a prior significant relationship with the child or youth. Kinship care allows children and youth to be in a safe environment with relatives or people familiar with them in order to maintain familial, social and cultural connections.
Do relatives get priority for placement?
Preference may be given by the court to a relative or kin if it is in the best interest of the child or youth.
Who do I contact if I would like to be considered as a placement resource for a child/youth that is a relative/kin?
The first person to contact is the child/youth’s caseworker. If the caseworker is unknown, contact the department of human/social services in the county where the child/youth was removed and ask to speak with someone in child welfare. Staff will not be able to give details about the case but can take information about people interested in being a placement option.
What happens if a child or youth has been removed from his/her parents or legal custodians in another state?
If a child/youth has been removed from his/her home in another state, that state (the sending state) can request an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, also known as an ICPC. An ICPC request takes approximately 3 to 4 months to process. Contact the county or state caseworker where the child or youth was removed from to inform them of potential interest in placement.
When does a county department choose not to place a child or youth with a specific relative or kinship caregiver?
Decision-making is based upon safety and protective factors that the county department must consider. These decisions are guided by information received, sound child welfare practice and requirements in rule and statute. Factors considered in placement decisions may support or not, a kinship caregiver to be recommended for placement. For questions about a child/youth’s specific situation, contact the child/youth’s caseworker. Common factors considered include but are not limited to:
What services are available to kinship caregivers?
There are services available to kinship families through the county department of human/social services. They are outlined below. Additional services may be available through local community agencies. A list of kinship support groups is available at www.COkinship.org.