Kinship Care, in its various forms, must be a first consideration when it comes to African American children entering (and currently in) the foster care system. Kinship caregivers must receive adequate assistance so that they can best meet the needs of the children in their care. Kinship Care policies must be responsive to the particularities of African American culture and the inherent extended family support system. While relatives may step forward to care for children within the extended family network, this should not be seen as "replacing" the mother and father. We believe, on a fundamental level, that the American approach toward "terminating the rights of a parent" to care for their child is not healthy and can potentially be extremely counterproductive.
Kinship Care Position Paper Developed by: Robert B. Hill, PhD; Zelma S. Smith, MSW, CSW; Jacquelyn Bailey Kidd; Marcia Williams, MSW October 2002 Published by: National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. National Kinship Care Task Force Click here to read Position Paper.
Children Cared for By Their Relatives: Who Are They and How Are They Faring? By Jennifer Ehrle, Rob Green, and Rebecca Clark Published by: Urban Institute February 2001 Quote from the concluding paragraph: "Ideally, a service system to support these families would capitalize on the benefits children gain from being plcaed with kin while at the same time providing the resources that relatives need to create environments that don't promote children's well-being." Click here to download full document (PDF file - 8 pages).
Foster Children Placed WIth Relatives Often Receive Less Government Help By Rob Green Published by: Urban Institute April 2003 Quote from the concluding paragraph: “Foster children can benefit from the love and commitment of kinship caregivers and from a sense of belonging and permanency. However, these children still experience the trauma of being separated from their parents. Whether they are placed with kin or non-kin foster parents, foster children require considerable support. Child welfare agencies need to reflect on the uniqueness of kinship care arrangements and develop strategies to ensure that kinship caregivers have the necessary knowledge and resources to best care for children entrusted to them.” Click here to dowload document (PDF file - 6 pages).
Children Placed in Foster Care With Relatives: A Multi-state Study Final Report - Executive Summary By Sandra Stukes Chipungu, PhD; Joyce E. Everett, PhD; Mary Jeanne Verdieck, PhD; and Hudith Jones, MA November 19, 1998 Published by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families Click here to read about this publication.
Gleeson, J.P. (1995). Kinship care and public child welfare: Challenges and opportunities for social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 31, 182-193.
Hill, R. (1971). Informal adoption among Black families. Washington, DC: National Urban League.
Hill, R. (1972). The strengths of Black families. New York: Emerson Hall.
Lawrence-Webb, C. (1997). African American children in the modern child welfare system: A legacy of the Flemming Rule, Child Welfare, 76, 9-30.
Leashore, B., Chipungu, S.S., & Everett, J. (1991). Child Welfare: An africentric perspective. NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Sudarkasa, N. (1996). The strength of our mothers - African American women and families: Essays and speeches. TRenton, NJ: African World Press.
Sudarkasa, N. (1981). Interpreting the African heritage in Afro-American family organization. In H.P. McAdoo (Ed.), Black families (pp. 37-53). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
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