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2009 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 14, No. 3
June 2009

Building Cultural Sensitivity:
Debunking Myths About Kinship Care

Common Myth The Reality
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: children are likely to experience the same maltreatment with relatives. Extended family networks have served as a protective factor in mediating child abuse and neglect among black families (Hill, 2006).
Kin caregivers only do it for the money. Many kinship caregivers survive on TANF payments and receive less financial support than non-related foster care providers (Hill, 2007).
Kin are too old/too poor to care for children. Kinship caregivers do tend to be older and poorer than non-kin (Ehrle, Green, & Main, 2003). However, “a vast majority of children feel loved by their kin caregivers and happy with their living arrangement” (Shearin, 2007, pg. 35).
Kin care is not as stable as adoption. Children placed with non-relatives are three times more likely to be moved to different homes than children in kinship care (Green, 2003). Children in kinship homes are also less likely to reenter care after they’ve gone home or been adopted (Hurley, 2008).
Kin placements are not as safe. Children in kinship care are three to four times less likely to be maltreated than children in traditional foster homes (Hurley, 2008).
Adapted from Hill, 2007; Cohen, 2008


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