County Health Rankings: Kinship Foster Care for Children in the Child Welfare System
In this County Health Rankings report, Kinship Care is well-defined and rated for efficacy. The expected beneficial outcomes of kinship care, as supported by robust research, include improved mental health, improved child behavior, increased foster care placement stability, and increased family reunification. There is strong evidence that children in kinship foster care have fewer behavioral problems and fewer mental health problems than children in non-kinship foster care. Kinship foster care can also lead to more stable placement, including a reduced likelihood of re-entry and placement disruption and fewer placements than non-kinship foster care as evidenced by several recent scientifically supported studies. The research studies supporting the improved outcomes of kinship care over non-kinship care are provided supporting the Health Rankings report rating indicating kinship care strategies are likely to make a difference. The report, also, provides supporting research indicating kinship care may reduce disparities. Implementation resources are provided including evidence citations and practice examples.