When Child Welfare Agencies Rely on Voluntary Kinship Placements

Brief

When Child Welfare Agencies Rely on Voluntary Kinship Placements

April 29, 2003

Abstract

In most states child welfare agencies use voluntary kinship arrangements on a fairly limited basis when caseworkers believe that children face low risk of abuse or neglect. One of the four states studied, Alabama, is representative of a handful of states nationwide that use voluntary kinship care whenever possible. None of the states studied has clear policies, procedures, or guidance on when and how to rely on voluntary kinship care. Agencies face many challenges with regard to these arrangements including when and how to remain involved with a family. They also must determine when and how to provide assistance to voluntary kinship caregivers who seek support from the system.

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