Boy helping in the kitchen

What Is Kinship Care?

Maintaining family bonds

Kinship Care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives or any adult with whom they already have a close relationship. Kinship Care allows a child to grow into adulthood in a familiar family environment.

How kinship care works

Kinship Care can be formally administered by a child welfare agency or agreed upon informally by relatives. Today, nearly a third of children in the foster care system are placed in the home of a relative.

The Bair Foundation currently offers kinship support services in Kentucky with our Kindred Roots program, in Pennsylvania and New Mexico to help children affirm their connections to family, community and culture.

We can help when a voluntary plan with a kinship caregiver is in place until reunification or another permanent alternative is achieved.

Learn more about kinship care or contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kinship care helps preserve a child’s cultural identity and relationship to their community. Children in a kinship home are more likely to stay connected to their extended family and maintain their cultures, customs and critical family connections. 

Kinship care can reduce the additional trauma children experience from being placed with strangers, and can help to reinforce their identity and feelings of safety and security.

Some kinship caregivers choose to be involved in “formal kinship” care where they become licensed as a foster home and receive a daily stipend and all of the supports that are involved with foster care.   

Other kinship caregivers choose to be “informal kinship” where they are eligible to receive some supports such as health care, food assistance, etc. however; they do not receive case management supports.   

All children belong in families, preferably their own. When children cannot live with their parents because the environment is not safe, they should have every opportunity to live safely with relatives or fictive kin. Formal kinship caregivers have access to the full array of training, services, and supports available through treatment foster care. These supports significantly increase the chance for a successful outcomes for the child(ren).

There are over 2.6 million children in Kinship care in the United States according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Many states have now adopted a process called “Kinship Navigator” programs where both formal and informal caregivers can call or visit a website designed just for their local area and receive coaching and other supports by a trained professional who understands the kinship process. Bair is the Prime Contractor for the Kinship Navigator program in Pennsylvania known as, “KinConnector”. Visit the services at

There are over 400,000 children in U.S. foster care and over 100,000 children available for adoption.

We need your help to stop horrific child abuse and neglect. We are doing all we can, but we just can’t do it alone.

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