71% of children placed in formal kinship care in King County are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). As Amara focuses squarely on centering equity and best outcomes for children, we recognize that continuing to place children of color with white families is not in their best interest. Keeping children with their families and with adults whose identities reflect their own is critical for their sense of belonging. This is an opportunity for Amara to strengthen extended families, so children have the best outcomes possible.
It’s also important because of the inequities that exist between kinship caregivers who are caring for kids, outside of the formal child welfare system, and foster parents. The financial support the state provides traditional foster parents, who have no prior connection to the youth and who are more often than not White, is much greater than the support provided to relative and kin placements who are more often lower income and BIPOC.