Kinship care is defined as informal custodial care for children (typically grandchildren) due to parental hardship or absence. This is largely because child protection authorities increasingly favor kinship care—in particular care by grandparents—when children are considered unable to remain safely with their birth parents and because of the concerted advocacy of grandparents and the organizations representing them. Approximately 2.4 million grandparents and extended family members are raising more than 6 million children in the United States. This entry examines the typical types of kinship care and the reasons for and costs and benefits of this type of care. This entry also examines legislation related to kinship care.


Grandfamily, or grandfamilies, are relatively new terms that have been coined to refer to families where grandparents, great-grandparents, or ...

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