• July/August 2005
  • Vol. 6, No. 6

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Kinship Care From the Child's Perspective

The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (AIA) recently explored the topic of kinship placement from a unique perspectiveā€”that of the child. "From the Child's Perspective: A Qualitative Analysis of Kinship Care Placements" presents findings from small focus groups conducted with a total of 40 children, aged 10 to 14 years, who were interviewed about their perceptions of transitional issues, family relationships, the stigma of living with relatives, and the stability of their placement. The children were either living with a relative who was a legal guardian, or they were in an informal placement with a relative.

Results of the focus group discussions show that these children generally viewed their family constellations as fluid. This view led to their belief that they were still living with "family" and that there was little, if any, stigma associated with kinship care. The children expressed conflicting feelings about their birth parents that included anger, disappointment, love, and hopefulness. Children who lived with legal guardians seemed to derive some comfort from the fact that the relatives had legal rights, and these children seemed more secure in their placements than those in informal placements.

This article is available on the AIA website at http://aia.berkeley.edu/media/pdf/kinship_research_summary.pdf. (PDF 281 KB)

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Also available from AIA is the Spring 2005 issue of its newsletter, The Source, which focuses on young children of substance abusers. The issue can be downloaded from the AIA website at http://aia.berkeley.edu/media/pdf/source_vol14_no1.pdf. (PDF 614 KB)

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