We Need to Help Relatives Navigate Their Child Welfare Options [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

 

By Jenny Keefe and Nikeyah Flagg, The Chronicle of Social Change, November 21, 2019

A new data project focusing on foster care capacity has illustrated a growing reality across the nation’s child welfare system: relatives are increasingly stepping up to provide care for children removed from their parents.

The newly released data, compiled and analyzed by The Chronicle of Social Change, shows that the most recent surge in youth entering foster care is over. It also finds that a majority of states are now relying more heavily on relatives and unrelated kin, known as kinship care.

Furthermore, a growing number of these families are taking on the role of kinship caregivers without any financial support from child welfare agencies. The number of youth living in the homes of relatives and family friends, without a single dollar from the child welfare agency went up 32 percent between 2011 and 2017, from 81,838 to 108,426.

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