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Kinship Care & Relatives for Permanency Placement
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Permanent Placements With Relatives

When children in out-of-home care cannot be safely returned home to their parents, child welfare professionals first look to relatives (also known as kin) to provide permanency for them. Relatives may adopt the children, assume legal guardianship, or accept a transfer of custody. All three options provide a permanent legal family for the children and support their exit from foster care and State custody. Kinship families caring for children often need an array of services to support their efforts. Resources include State and local examples.

Adoption and Subsidized Guardianship as Permanency Options in Kinship Foster Care: Barriers and Facilitating Conditions
Mason & Gleeson (1999)
View Abstract
A qualitative study of caseworkers in Illinois to identify barriers and conditions that support permanency for children in foster care.

Assessing Adult Relatives as Preferred Caregivers in Permanency Planning: A Competency-Based Curriculum (PDF - 312 KB)
National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning (2002)
Provides an overview of the key knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with birth families and extended family members. Identifies family assessment categories that are different for relatives and nonrelatives.

Finding Permanent Homes for Foster Children: Issues Raised by Kinship Care (PDF - 135 KB)
The Urban Institute (2003)
Reviewed local kinship care policies and practices in 13 counties in Alabama, California, Connecticut, and Indiana to identify barriers to permanency for children in kinship care.

Kinship Care and Permanence: Guiding Principles for Policy and Practice
Lorkovich, Piccola, Groza, Brindo, & Marks
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 85(2), 2004
Reviews why kinship care is favored, and uses lessons learned from the Kinship Adoption Project in Cuyahoga County, OH to discuss barriers and permanence of kinship care.

Making Good Decisions about Kinship Care
ABA Center on Children and the Law (1997)
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Considerations for making decisions about placing children with relatives, including steps in the selection of a kinship home and legal aspects of kinship arrangements.

Permanency Planning with Kinship Foster Parents
Geen (2003)
In Kinship Care: Making the Most of a Valuable Resource
View Abstract
Examines the different ways that local agencies approach permanency planning when children are in kin rather than nonkin foster care.

Placement of Children With Relatives
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2005)
State laws that encourage preference for relatives when making foster care and adoptive placements. (
PDF - 152 KB)

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State and local examples

Final Progress Report: Innovations to Increase Permanency Options for Children in Kinship Care
Institute for Black Parenting (2003)
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Through community awareness of permanency options and support for kinship caregivers, the project attempted to place 74 children in adoptive placements and 40 children in legal guardianships with relatives.

The KIN-nections Project: aka Families First for the State of Arizona: Final Report
Arizona's Children Association (2003)
View Abstract
The project was designed to increase relative adoptions and guardianships through the use of family group conferencing for three groups of children: children who were free for adoption but had no identified placement, children in care for 5 or more years, and children in the Casey Family Programs long- term foster care program.

Permanent Kinship Placements (PKP) Project: Final Report
Adoption Center at Bellefaire JCB (2003)
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The project developed a training curriculum and video series to educate child welfare workers about best practices when working with kin providers and used new technology and innovative techniques to identify, locate, and engage potential kin who could provide permanency for waiting children.


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