“Kinship Care is the full-time care of children by relatives or others who have a kinship bond with a child whose parents are not living in the home.
You may be a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, sister or brother, tribal member, or just a good family friend. Children receiving kinship care benefit by receiving care and affection from someone known to them and by having important attachments, family ties, and relationships preserved.”
Today, about half of the children in Louisiana’s foster care system live with relatives in kinship care. Most people do not realize the vital role Kinship Care plays in maintaining family ties for children who cannot live with biological parents.
Placing a child with extended family, in the home of relatives, is usually the best option for a child who must be in foster care. Relative placements are called “kinship care”. Kinship care maintains a child’s connections with their families.
Information from the Department of Children and Family Services
If you have questions about any aspect of kinship care in Louisiana, the Louisiana Kinship Navigator Legal and Custodial Information Guide is a great source of answers. This comprehensive document is 52 pages of helpful information prepared by Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services to inform the public about Kinship Care.
In addition to the Legal and Custodial Information Guide, Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services also provides the following helpful information about Kinship Care:
Louisiana’s Kinship Navigator Program
Of Louisiana’s 1,600 relative placements, only 600 are certified Kinship Caregivers. Louisiana’s Kinship Navigator program assists kinship caregivers to obtain certification as foster parents.
The Kinship Navigator Program is a partnership between Methodist Foster Care and DCFS which assists kinship caregivers through the certification process allowing relatives who care for children in DCFS’ custody to access the supports and services available from the Department of Children and Family Services for certified Kinship Caregivers.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
In support of grandparents who provide kinship care to grandchildren, The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering both information and support to kinship caregivers and their families.
Grandparents Should Seek Legal Custody or Guardianship by Susan Adcox.