Kinship care, though unfamiliar to many, has a long-established presence throughout history. When parents are unable to fulfill their role, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, and trusted family friends have consistently risen to the occasion and taken on the responsibility of raising children.
Despite their vital contributions, kinship caregivers often remain unseen and undervalued. They wholeheartedly invest their energy, skills, and livelihoods into establishing safe and secure homes for the children they care for, all while their efforts go unrecognized. kinship caregivers come from diverse backgrounds, with approximately half being grandparents and a majority being women. Some may possess court orders, while others fulfill their role as informal caregivers.
Kinship care frequently arises during moments of crisis, such as parental bereavement, addiction issues, domestic abuse, or criminal convictions. In these challenging circumstances, kinship caregivers face little time to make decisions or prepare for the arrival of a child into their homes. Nevertheless, they offer love, consistency, and stability to children who have endured trauma and may require specialized support.