March 2014Vol. 15, No. 3Kinship Process Mapping
Federal and State child welfare policy promotes kinship placement for children and youth who cannot safely live with their parents. Although studies show that placement with extended family can reduce trauma and support well-being, many public child welfare agencies nationwide face obstacles in achieving kinship care goals. An April 2013 guide developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation thoroughly examines Kinship Process Mapping (KPM), a standardized method of analysis that child welfare agencies can use to identify and develop recommendations for removing barriers to placing children with kin.
The guide is divided into three sections, which mirror KPM's three phases: preparing for KPM sessions, facilitating KPM sessions, and analyzing results and developing solutions. The first two sections contain practical step-by-step instructions for documenting and evaluating how child welfare staff currently identify, approve, and support kin (the three key functions of the kinship care system), and the third section outlines a process by which child welfare agencies can better identify barriers to kinship placement and develop solutions to achieve positive outcomes for children and youth.
When employed, the three-phase KPM process takes approximately 2 months to implement. The guide also provides recommendations child welfare organizations should consider in order to be successful in KPM implementation.
Kinship Process Mapping: A Guide to Improving Practice in Kinship Care is available on the Annie E. Casey Foundation website: