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April 2005Vol. 6, No. 3Kinship Care Training Materials for Caseworkers

The Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers a training curriculum on kinship care practice for child welfare caseworkers. The curriculum is intended to prepare caseworkers to engage family members in developing a permanency plan for a child in the custody of the child welfare system.

Materials include a training manual and four videos. The manual is divided into six units covering the following topics:

  1. The Context of Practice in Kinship Foster Care: Formal and Informal System Constraints and Opportunities
  2. The Sociocultural Contexts of Kinship Care
  3. Substance Abuse and Its Impact on Family Systems
  4. Convening the Kinship Network
  5. Decision-Making and Family Empowerment
  6. Supporting Permanent Plans

Each unit contains learning goals, a discussion section that can be used as a lecture guide or distributed as a reading assignment, a reference list, learning activities and resources, and full-page handouts that can also be duplicated as overhead transparencies.

The training videos include four segments, 25 to 40 minutes each, showing a caseworker interviewing family members, using the genogram and ecomap to assess the case and engage family members, and meeting with extended family to discuss permanency options.

All materials can be downloaded from the Kinship Care Practice Project at