More children raised by relatives and family friends, Casey Foundation reportsMay 31, 2012
More than 2.7 million children in America are raised by grandparents or other relatives, according to the most recent data available.
This longtime practice has become more prevalent in the last decade, which has seen an 18 percent increase in children living with relatives or close family friends because their parents can no longer care for them, according to a new KIDS COUNT® report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
In fact, an estimated 9 percent of youths will live with extended family for at least three consecutive months at some point before age 18.
The rise of this practice, known as kinship care, demands immediate attention, according to the report, "Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families."
Many family members and friends who take on parental responsibilities with their often-limited incomes struggle to meet the basic needs of children — a problem that could be alleviated with increased access to and awareness of government and community programs.
“The Casey Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families, and that includes supporting extended family and others who take on the responsibility of raising kids,” President and CEO Patrick McCarthy said. “Research shows kids fare better when they remain in the safe, stable and familiar environment that relatives can provide.”
The new KIDS COUNT report details the types of challenges kinship caregivers encounter.It also highlights recommendations for states and communities to take advantage of existing federal funding for these families, and to strengthen them and help their kids flourish, avoiding greater costs down the road.« Back to News
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