Kinship Caregivers & The Hidden Foster Care System
Kinship caregivers (primarily grandparents raising their grandchildren) are often functioning as a shadow foster care system. We talk with Josh Gupta-Kagan, a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law and author of America’s Hidden Foster Care System in the Stanford Law Review, and Karissa Phelps, a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow at Temple Legal Aid, where she provides legal representation and services to kinship caregivers.
In this episode, we cover:
- In many cases, child protection agencies induce parents to transfer physical custody of their children to kinship caregivers by threatening to place the children in foster care.
- How often does this happen?
- Why do you call this the “hidden” foster care system?
- Generally speaking, don’t we consider it best practice for kids to remain with extended family? So why is this a problem? Is it inherently coercive?
- What are the advantages to encouraging placement with kin before they enter the formal foster care system?
- What are the risks?
- If this transfer takes place outside of the system, how long does it last? How can children go home? Who decides?
- How does this differ from informal kinship care?
- How does The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 contribute to the “hidden foster care system”?
- Do you see kinship placements increasing?
- What are child welfare agencies doing to support kinship families?
- Follow the money: Is it less expensive for agencies to place with kin rather than unrelated foster parents?
- How is foster care funded?
- What is the status of kinship navigator programs?
- How can we best support kinship families?
- What do you see as the biggest challenges to kinship families?
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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth
Image Credit: Kampus Production