Running head: KINSHIP CARE
Kinship Care and The Fostering Connections to Success
Increasing Adoptions Act
Boston University School of Social Work
September 24, 2016
Kinship Care and the Fostering Connections to Success
and Increasing Adoptions Act
Child removal is disruptive and damaging to a child, both physically and emotionally. Kinship care allows for consistency and familiarity in foods/eating habits, culture, customs, family values, daily norms, and familiar faces. This form of guardianship facilitates stability, critical to the child’s well-being during a time when significant transition is occurring in the child’s life. The removal process he or she experiences when separating from their biological family is extremely traumatic. Any consistency that can be maintained in their lives should be the priority of the Child Welfare when choosing a placement option.
Kinship guardianship is often not managed by child welfare in the same manner as traditional foster care. Many times, a child who is placed in a home with relatives is not afforded the same resources and services as one placed in a non-relative home. Additionally, the private versus public systems that oversee kinship guardians have historically had strained partnerships due to different practice philosophies.
Appreciating the concerns that kinship often face, it is clear that kinship guardians and the children are both significantly impacted by the difference in protocol. Fortunately, a federal policy is currently in place to intervene and support this population of people. This paper will look deeper into their issues.
When a parent cannot, will not, or chooses not to care for a child, it becomes necessary to find an alternative form of childcare. The customary options are traditional foster care, kinship care, or fictive care. The focus of this paper will be on kinship care. Placing a child in kinship care means, “placing a child with relatives, which is the preferred resource because it maintains the children's connection with their family and is considered a family preservation service” (Child Welfare, Children's Bureau, n.d, p.5.).
Types of Kinship Care
Informal kinship care refers to, “the parents or other family members arrange for care without the assistance of either the child welfare agency or juvenile court” (Child Welfare, Children's Bureau, n.d., p.5). Voluntary kinship care refers to, “children placed with relatives and the child welfare agency is involved, but the state does not take legal custody” (Child Welfare, Children's Bureau, n.d., p.5). Formal kinship care is when,
The state takes over the legal custody of the child, and the child welfare agency then
places the children with kin. The state has legal custody and the relatives have
physical custody. The child's relatives are certified or approved as foster parents and have
the rights and responsibilities the same as non-relative foster parents (Child Welfare,...