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ERIC Number: ED507722
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 69
Kinship Care When Parents Are Incarcerated: What We Know, What We Can Do. A Review of the Research and Recommendations for Action
Hairston, Creasie Finney
Annie E. Casey Foundation
This report examines the involvement of the child welfare system in children's care and protection when parents are incarcerated, with a focus on kinship care. Kinship care is defined as care in which relatives other than a child's parent assume parenting responsibilities for the child. It is a common care arrangement for children of incarcerated parents. There are three main forms of kinship care. Formal kinship care, also called relative foster care, refers to care provided by relatives when children are under the custody of the child welfare system. Voluntary kinship care typically refers to care provided by relatives when children are involved in the child welfare system, but not under the state custody. Private kinship care refers to private arrangements that families make without child welfare system involvement. Given the significant role these grandparents and other relative caregivers are playing in the lives of children of incarcerated parents, there is an urgent need to collect and analyze existing research, as well as conduct new research in key areas. There is also a need to share knowledge broadly across disciplines and provide opportunities for ongoing feedback from those directly involved in kinship care relationships, including children, parents and caregivers. This report also describes what current research says, and explores what people need to know and what they can do to develop more effective and compassionate social policies and programs. Furthermore, the knowledge and experience the author has gained from several years of research and consultation on family-oriented correctional programs, as well as communications with prisoners and their family members, provide context for the topics covered and the interpretation of research findings. (Individual sections contain footnotes.) [An earlier version of this report appears as a chapter entitled "Kinship Care When Parents are Incarcerated" in Gleeson, J. & Hairston, C.F. (Editors). Kinship Care Improving Practice Through Research. Washington, D.C.: CWLA Press, 1999.]
Annie E. Casey Foundation. 701 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-547-6600; Fax: 410-547-6624; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Annie E. Casey Foundation