Topic: Kinship Caregiver Support Programs

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

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Definition for Kinship Caregiver Support Programs:

Kinship Caregiver Support Programs are defined by the CEBC as programs that support the needs of kinship caregivers, such as training and education, financial services, and support groups. Kinship care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends (often referred to as fictive kin). Kinship care may be formal and involve a training and licensure process for the caregivers, along with monthly subsidies to help defray the costs of caring for the child, or may include voluntary or mediated kin caregivers referring to those relative caregivers caring for children following a child welfare agency assessment to ensure the safety and suitability of the home, or informal caregivers, referring to those relative caregivers caring for children privately, without the involvement of child welfare or other government agencies.

The CEBC also provides information on financial support programs for kinship caregivers.

  • Target population: Potential and current kinship caregivers, including relatives (e.g., grandparent, sibling, etc.) and fictive kin (e.g., godparents, close family friends, etc.)
  • Services/types that fit: Interventions to orient new kinship caregivers or to provide training, skills development, education, or support for new or existing kinship caregivers
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, behavioral health professionals, or other professionals or paraprofessionals trained to deliver a kinship caregiver support program
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically identify the support needs of kinship caregivers as a goal
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes for the kinship caregiver (e.g., knowledge or skill, psychological support, improvement in kinship caregivers' satisfaction with their kinship role, or retention of the child in their home) or outcomes for the child(ren) in their care (e.g., placement stabilization, reunification).
Downloadable Topic Area Summary

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

One Program with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:

Four Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

18 Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

Topic Expert

Jill Duerr Berrick, PhD, Zellerbach Family Foundation Professor
Co-Director of the Center for Child and Youth Policy
School of Social Welfare, University of California
Berkeley, CA