Reconsidering Kinship Care
The once-prevalent belief that only the most caring, stable families should be prioritized as placement options for foster children has been replaced in recent decades with the assumption that relatives of foster children should always be looked to for assistance first. This might seem sensible, of course. Families generally care best for their own, and might be thought more likely to be willing to go above and beyond for a vulnerable child in need. But it is an approach with a dark and complex history in America, and its practical effects have been mixed at best. Too often, such placements exacerbate the problems that foster care exists to address.