Kinship caregivers are individuals willing to provide a temporary or permanent home for a child or children of a relative that cannot remain in the home of their parents due to the threat of further abuse or neglect. Kinship caregivers include great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, stepparents, siblings, stepsiblings, and first cousins to the child. Here are a few statistics.
In the State of Utah:
- 82,820 children under 18 years old live in kinship care (U.S Census 2010, American FactFinder: Household Types; Utah)
- There was a 51% increase in the number of children being raised by relatives between the years of 2000 and 2010 (42,000 children under 18 were in kinship care in 2000). (U.S. Census 2010 and 2000; American FactFinder, Household Types: Utah)
- 20,655 grandparents are responsible for their own grandchildren under 18 years old (U.S. Census Bureau 2010: American FactFinder; Household Types; Utah)
- In 2010, there were 2,815 children in the foster care system and 1,703 were placed with kin. (Utah Division of Child and Family Services 2010 data)
- During FY2011, domestic violence related abuse was the most frequent reason that an allegation resulted in a supported case of abuse, neglect, or dependency. 31% of supported abuse or neglect cased had alcohol or drug abuse as a contributing factor as reported by caseworkers, 2% more than 2010. Approximately 75% of perpetrators are the victim’s parents and 17% were other relations. Children who were released from custody to live with kin have been achieving lasting stability as shown by the reduction in the rate of children re-entering custody within 12 months. (Utah Division of Child and Family Services Annual Report 2011 – Child Protective Services)