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October 2003Vol. 4, No. 8Strengths, Challenges, and Needs of Kinship Caregivers

In 2000, almost 4 million children were living with relatives other than their parents. Two new publications highlight the unique challenges facing these caregivers.

A new report from Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support, The Kinship Report: Assessing the Needs of Relative Caregivers and the Children in Their Care, presents a balanced view of kinship care in the United States. Through literature reviews and interviews, the report:

  • Presents a fuller, more accurate picture of the difficulties faced by kinship care families, and provides for a better appreciation of the strengths they bring to their situation.
  • Identifies the ways in which the financial, physical, and social needs of these children and caregivers are being met.
  • Identifies the support systems that are sustaining these families, as well as those supports that still need to be created.
  • Makes valuable information available to kinship families and those working to help them, so services and lives can be enhanced.

The full report and an executive summary are available on the Casey Family Programs website at

The National Endowment for Financial Education teamed with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to produce a new publication for families, Sticking Together: Kinship Care and Financial Care. This new publication helps families better understand and be prepared for the challenges and rewards involved in kinship care. Highlights include advice on day-to-day issues such as cooking and clothing, legal issues such as family reunification and legal guardianship, and financial issues such as preserving retirement saving and estate planning.

Copies of the publication (Item #8986) are available free (requestors must pay for shipping) from CWLA by calling (800) 407-6273 or online at

Related Item

A new brief from the Urban Institute, Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Children in Grandparent Care (, focuses specifically on grandparent caregivers.