Kinship care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who had a kinship bond with a child.
Informal kinship care exists when an adult only has revocable legal authority or no legal authority. When kinship care is informal, a parent can remove the child without notice. Police and child protective services will not prevent the child’s removal unless there is recent evident of significant abuse or neglect.
Formal kinship care exists when an adult has legal guardianship or legal custody of the child.
Advantages to formal kinship guardianship include preservation of family, community and cultural ties, avoidance of trauma resulting from being placed with strangers, less likelihood of multiple placements, and the legal authority to prevent the parents from removing a child from the kinship caregiver.
There are several ways that children end up in a kinship guardianship. Parents can voluntarily place children with others because they are unable or unwilling to take care of the children themselves, often due to substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness, or other dysfunction; family members intervene and remove child or prevent parent from removing child from home; or a social worker with Child Protective services suggests kinship guardianship after a referral of abuse and/or neglect.
My extensive experience with kinship guardianship uniquely qualifies me to assist you with solutions to help protect children from family dysfunctions while maintaining their relationships with those who love and want to take care of them.