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Who Takes Care of Children When Their Parents Can't?

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Document date: October 09, 2003
Released online: October 09, 2003

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

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Who Takes Care of Children When Their Parents Can't?

In 2002, 2.5 million children lived in families where their parents were not present. Of these, fewer than 250,000 lived with non-kin foster families.

About 2.3 million children lived in kinship care. This included all children living with relatives without a parent present. There are three types of kinship care arrangements:

Private Kinship Care (1,760,000 children). The family made this arrangement privately, without the involvement of a social service agency.
Kinship Foster Care (400,000 children). Social services helped place the child with the relative and a court made the relative responsible for the child's care.
Voluntary Kinship Care (140,000 children). Social services helped place the child with the relative, but the courts were not involved.



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Families and Parenting


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