Kinship care is the full-time care of children by relatives or other people with whom the child has a close emotional connection, when the child’s biological parents are unable to do so. Informal kinship care arrangements are made within families without the intervention of the court system or public social services.
Formal kinship arrangements happen when the court has ordered that a child be separated from their parents, usually due to abuse and/or neglect. The child’s custody may be transferred to the relative, or to the local child welfare agency.
When children cannot be raised by their parents, kinship care gives them the best chance at maintaining family, community and cultural connections which foster a sense of well-being and belonging.