Supporting Unlicensed Kinship Caregivers, Family Ties: Analysis From a State-By-State Survey of Kinship Care Policies

Apr 08, 2024
  • Description

A policy survey fielded in 2022 for the Annie E. Casey Foundation by Child Trends shines new light on inequitable support for children living with unlicensed kinship caregivers. This brief shares findings about states' placement requirements, services and financial assistance for unlicensed caregivers. The role of unlicensed kinship caregivers in children's lives is no less than that of licensed foster parents, kin or unrelated; and the expenses of caring for children are the same. Yet unlicensed caregivers do not have the same access to support as kin or non-kin licensed foster parents, the survey found. Many agencies offer these caregivers fewer and different types of support and training. The survey asked states about policies not practices, therefore some states may provide additional support or conduct approval processes that were not included in their survey responses.