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 improving the 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.