What is Kinship Care?

Kinship care refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or any non-relative adult who has a relationship or bond with the child is caring for that child in place of his/her parents.

Kinship care includes relationships established through an informal arrangement, legal custody or guardianship order, foster care placement or kinship adoption. Kinship care arrangements often occur because the child’s parents are either unable or unwilling to provide parental care due to death, incarceration, domestic violence, unemployment, poverty, or drug abuse. According to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force Report issued by the Ohio Department of Aging, grandparents are the largest group of kinship caregivers in the state.

Ohio Kinship Demographics

State Demographics

A 2008 Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Kinship Permanency Incentive (KPI) Program Report to the Ohio General Assembly, 2010 HSRI Title VI E Waiver data, and Fostering Connections Kinship Navigator Grant Year One evaluation provided state caregiver profile data. The various reports showed the following trends for caregivers seeking supportive services:

  • Most of the caregivers are in their late 40’s, mid 50’s, but 12% are over 60

  • While the majority of kinship caregivers are grandparents, one third are aunts, uncles, cousins, older siblings or close family friends

  • 67% are maternal relatives, 25% are paternal relatives

  • Over one third of the families are caring for sibling groups

  • Over half of the children in kinship care families are African American, with an average age of 7 or 8 years old.

Sources: 2008 Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Kinship Permanency Incentive Program Report to the Ohio General Assembly, 2010 HSRI Title VI E Waiver data and Fostering Connections Kinship Navigator Grant Year One Evaluation PowerPoint to Protect Ohio Consortium.

Local Demographics

In 2011, the Montgomery Kinship Navigator Program provided service to 535 families and over 1,200 children in the county. Nearly ninety percent of the relatives were grandparents. Ninety-two percent of the households were headed by females and eight percent by males.


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