Relative caregivers are invaluable to the child welfare system. Although most states have a preference for relative placement, the support and assistance provided to relatives during and beyond the initial child placement period are inadequate. Through a U.S. Children's Bureau System of Care Demonstration project, a peer-to-peer approach (based in social cognitive theory) which paired a new relative caregiver (n= 74) with a full-time, paid kinship liaison (a current or former relative caregiver) was studied. Findings show that kinship liaisons are extremely helpful to caregivers and reveal 27 support categories that caregivers find most useful. One of the most significant services (i.e., information and referral) provided by the liaisons increased caregivers' knowledge of accessing available services and the permanency process. Data results show significant increases in caregivers' coping abilities and willingness to become a permanent resource for the children in their care. Policy and practice insights are provided.
- Child welfare outcomes
- Kinship care
- Kinship caregivers
- Peer support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science