Department of Social Services
Kinship Foster Care
When children are in danger of abuse or neglect at
home, the Department
of Social Services may intervene and place the children with
foster care parents, who are
reimbursed by the Department for caring for the children. When
the foster care parents are
related to the children, the children are said to be placed in
kinship foster care. According to
Department policy, kinship foster care is preferred to other
types of foster care.
We examined various aspects of the kinship foster care overseen
by the Department and
conclude that improvements are needed. For example, because
children stay longer in
kinship foster care than in the care of unrelated foster parents,
the cost per child placed in
kinship foster care significantly exceeds the cost per child
placed in the care of unrelated
foster parents. We recommend that Department officials determine
whether this additional
cost is justified, and if not, take steps to revise or
discontinue kinship foster care. We also
found that the care provided by kinship foster parents is not
always adequately monitored, and
an effort is not always made by local social services districts
to locate kin who are willing to
act as foster parents. We make several recommendations aimed at
administration of kinship foster care.
For a complete copy of 95-S-106 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.