Ask AF: Foster Care vs. Kinship Care

What is the difference between foster and kinship care? The AF expert explains.


Q: I have a five-month-old foster child whose case was recently transferred from kinship care to foster care. What does this mean? I have grown to love this little girl, and I very much want to adopt her. Her grandmother is certain that she will be returned to the family. What will happen next, and is there anything I can do?

A: Transferring the case from kinship care to foster care normally indicates that state social services has made a legal decision that the child’s extended birth family cannot provide a safe place for this little girl. However, you should clarify this with her caseworker and attend every court hearing to stay informed. Be aware that social services has an obligation to provide help to a child’s mother, so that she can care for her child in the future, as well as an obligation to inform the father of his rights. While this period is not easy, you should do your best to communicate as much as possible with the child’s family. If you do end up adopting, you’ll have information to share with her in the future. I also recommend finding a local foster parent support group.


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