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October 2002Vol. 3, No. 8Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need?

Children Cared for by Relatives: What Services Do They Need? is part of a series by The Urban Institute presenting findings from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families, a nationally representative survey of 44,000 households. The authors look at the specific service needs of children in kinship care and reveal that many of the children, while eligible, do not receive those services. "Kinship care families' relatively low level of receipt of TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families], Medicaid, and subsidized child care raises questions about barriers they face in accessing these supports."

The authors believe that because there are relatively few kinship care families, they may be overlooked by program administrators and policymakers. Also, because of the stigma attached, many kinship care families may not accept the services available to them. Even if kinship care families were to receive all the financial aid to which they were entitled, many would still lack other services such as housing, mental health care, and child care. The authors outline several courses of action to help get needed services to kinship care families.

A free copy of the report can be ordered online at: Ecommerce/ProductDisplay.cfm&ProductID=4085, or by calling (202) 261-5687.