Every May, we recognize National Foster Care Month and renew our commitment to ensuring safe, loving, homes for children and teens in foster care, and celebrate the families and caregivers who open their hearts and homes to youth at a critical time in their lives.
This year’s National Foster Care Month theme is Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong. The Children’s Bureau’s National Foster Care Month campaign recognizes the important role that members from all parts of child welfare play in supporting children, youth, and families. Research has proven that placing children with relatives creates better outcomes than placing children with non-related foster parents. Children placed in kinship care are less likely to re-enter foster care once reunited with their biological parents, have fewer behavioral problems, and have better cultural and familial connections.
Being a guardian for my granddaughter is sometimes challenging but, by the grace of God, we have been able to make it through. If we had to press a button to go back in time, I would do it all over again. —Grandparent and kin caregiver
Key Facts and Statistics About Relative & Kinship Care
There are over 407,000 children and youth in foster care, and 34 percent were placed with relatives or kin.
When children cannot remain safely in their home, placement with relatives and kin — both formally through the child welfare system and informal through family arrangements — can increase stability, reduce trauma, and help children maintain a sense of family, belonging and identity.
Investing in culturally appropriate services and supports for relative and kin caregivers may help reinforce a child’s cultural identity and traditions. their parents or primary caregiver.
Relational permanency is fundamental to the well-being of children and youth. Maintaining relationships with relatives and kin can help provide a sense of belonging for young people in care.
When Relative or Kinship Care is Not Possible
If it is not possible for children to be in the care of a relative or kin connection, the remaining options are emergency shelter care, a family foster home, or a group residential setting. At CH/LSS we are able to educate, license, and prepare families to be a resource for Minnesota’s children under state guardianship. The majority of expenses related to becoming a foster care resource are covered by state and/or county contracts.
How to Begin Your Foster Care Journey
There are two steps you must complete to start your process of becoming a foster parent through CH/LSS: attend our two-hour Foster Care Orientation and two-day Foster Care Education class. Both classes are free and are currently being held virtually. Many families find it helpful to attend the orientation first because it provides an overview of the process and addresses details such as children served, timelines, fees (spoiler: it is virtually free!), licensing requirements, and more.Start Your Foster Care Journey Today
We Work With All Families
We are dedicated to serving ALL families. Our foster care program is open to individuals and families regardless of marital status, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, religion, or race.
- 7 Foster Care Myths Debunked (free CH/LSS webinar)
- Adoption: Finding Families for Minnesota’s Waiting Children (MN Department of Human Services)
- Foster care: Temporary out-of-home care for children (MN Department of Human Services)
- Learn about our Foster-A-Teen Program (CH/LSS)
- National Foster Care Month website (childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth)
- Supporting Reunification as a Kinship Caregiver (CH/LSS)