Each September, the nation celebrates National Kinship Care Month. We recognize and applaud the tireless commitment of an estimated 2.7 million kinship caregivers across the country – the relatives, extended family members and tribes who protect and nurture children through informal family arrangements or child protective services.
When a child enters foster care, relatives ranging from grandparents and aunts and uncles to older siblings and non-related extended family members are often the first and preferred placement option child welfare agencies explore. This is done in a child’s best interest, and it helps to ease the transition of being removed from their home and their parents. Over one-third of all children in foster care are in a kinship placement.
Kinship care allows children and youth in foster care to maintain family relationships, cultural heritage and connections to their own community and familiar surroundings during what can be turbulent times. Research suggests that children in kinship care are often better able to adjust to their new environment, less likely to experience school or behavioral problems and less likely to be moved than children in non-kinship foster placements.
Click here for Anntesha’s story: Learn how Anntesha’s experience as a child living with her grandparents and later in foster care influenced her to become a relative caregiver to her niece and nephew and work as a kinship navigator.
Capacity Building Center for States. (2022). Anntesha's story - National Kinship Month 2022. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.