Special issues for children in kinship care

Many children are being cared for by family members other than their parents. Some states have begun to look more closely at the needs of these children and their families.

Grandparents and other relatives who care for children have the same needs—or even greater needs—as regular foster parents.3 However, many receive less support and fewer services than foster parents.This can be a problem because

• Grandparents and other family members may need help making decisions about the child's placement and needs.

• Grandparents and other family members may need help getting medical and mental health care or other services for the child.

• Children placed with relatives stay longer than those in foster care, but they don't get as much help or support.

Many professionals believe that grandparents raising grandchildren should have a lot of support and attention, such as grandparent support groups, professional therapy, or help from other family members and friends. If you need help or have concerns about your grandchild, make sure you try to find resources to help. See fact sheets #9, Additional Resources, and #8, The Cycle of Family Patterns, for suggestions.

normal development H mild delay I significant delay

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