In order to quickly provide kids with stability when they enter foster care, there are fewer requirements for relatives to be approved as kinship caregivers. Unlike foster parents, kinship caregivers do not have to be licensed by the State to care for children and most are not. However, this means they do not have access to many of the resources that the State offers foster parents.
There hasn’t been a program to provide kinship caregivers with wraparound supports to navigate the complicated foster care process and assist in finding childcare, parenting supports, and other needed resources, like Amara and so many other private agencies do for foster parents. Having developed a quality foster care program to license and support community members willing to open their homes and hearts to children in foster care, Amara is well-equipped to support kinship caregivers who are licensed through providing placement support services and support groups. By making it easier for relatives to be caregivers, we can support safety and stability for kids.
In line with our continued goal of positive, long-term outcomes for children, research shows that children who spent time in kinship care have lower risks of re-entry into foster care once they exit the child welfare system. Research also shows that youth fare better in kinship care in key areas including mental health and educational outcomes.