Kinship Caregiving: Managing Relationships with the Child’s Parents

One of the hardest parts of being a kinship caregiver is navigating the relationship with the child’s birth parent. We talk with Dr. Joseph Crumbley, a social worker, family therapist and author of “An Overview of Kinship Care”.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Creating a Family listening sessions with kinship caregivers in rural counties.
  • What are some of the complicating factors in the relationship between kinship caregivers and the child’s parents?
  • Grandparents and other caregivers sometimes feel that the child’s parents will threaten them with taking the child away if they do something that the parent disapproves of.
  • How to not enable the child’s parent but still have a relationship.
  • How to set healthy boundaries for the caregiver’s and child’s best interest when you have years of experience not setting healthy boundaries?
  • How to handle others in the family who interfere with the boundaries you’ve established?
  • I don’t know if this is a question, but I really struggle with getting my kids opportunities to see their mom and siblings. All other siblings have been reunited, and I gather it’s painful for their mom to see the two that were adopted by us (she surrendered her rights). Although we live relatively close to them, we have only managed 2-3 visits a year, mostly because of long periods of no responses to my texts or last-minute cancellations of planned visits. Sometimes our adopted kids can’t even remember their siblings’ names and it just breaks my heart. I’d love for them to have a closer relationship, but I have only limited control.
  • How to handle the anger, shame, guilt you feel at the child’s parents?
  • How to support co-parenting when the child’s parent is still not in a healthy place?
  • How to support reunification?

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Kampus Productions