Relatives and other significant adults in families’ lives have always played a role in raising children when their parents could not care for them.
How can child welfare systems respond appropriately and responsively to the needs of kinship families? These are some of the questions this collaborative addressed in order to improve the services they provide to kinship families:
- Identifying kin early on
How can we identify relatives at the initial point of the family's contact with the child welfare system as a resource to help meet child and family needs?
- Supporting connections between birth parents, children, siblings, and their kin
How do we maintain, strengthen, and support relationships between birth parents, children and youth, and their kin, in particular, as roles and responsibilities may shift?
- Providing services and supports
How do we implement inclusive planning with families that results in the provision of culturally relevant services in a timely manner?
- Supporting permanence, broadly defined
How do we recognize and support kinship care as a permanency option?
- Developing a partnership
How can we actively engage birth parents, children and youth, and their kin as true partners in designing the systems of kinship care services and supports?
- Collaborating with community partners and public agencies
How can communities and other public agencies be active partners in meeting the needs of birth parents, children and youth, and their kin? li>
- Promoting self-help and mutual support
How can we facilitate kinship families' connections with one another in ways that promote self-help, mutual support, leadership, and advocacy?
- Training staff
How can we train and support child welfare staff in the skills required to work effectively with birth parents, children, youth, and their kin?
To learn more about the initiative's process and outcomes, read the final report.