The best of both worlds: How kinship care impacts reunification

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Children entering out-of-home placement because of parental substance abuse often are placed with relatives. Placements with relatives reduce the likelihood of reunification, but little information is available about why this is the case. Using a multiple embedded case study design, interviews with 26 women and 20 professionals explored the ways kinship care influences reunification among African American women with histories of addiction. The results revealed three kinds of kinship arrangements that influenced whether women regained or permanently lost custody of their children: (a) family support with parameters, (b) limited family support, and (c) enabling family support. These findings suggest a need for child welfare agencies to help relative caregivers establish boundaries and limits particularly when substance abuse is an issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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