What is Kinship Care?
A number of grandparents and other relatives (including aunts, uncles, older siblings and great-grandparents) find themselves serving as parents for children whose own parents are unable to care for them. Sometimes, the arrangement (referred to as "kinship care") is an informal, private arrangement between the parents and relative caregivers; in other situations, the Department of Human Services is involved. Kinship care can also include non-relatives such as godparents, stepparents, family-friends or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child.
Facts about Kinship Care
- 2.7 million children (4%) of all U.S. children are being raised in kinship care situations.
- Children placed with relatives make up over a quarter (26%) of all children in the foster care system.
Support for Kinship Caregivers
For over 40 years, the Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA) has been a voice for Iowa’s foster, adoptive and kinship children through the support it provides to the parents who care for children. IFAPA empowers, supports and advocates for foster, adoptive and kinship families across Iowa. IFAPA provides peer support, training and resources to promote safety, permanency and well-being for Iowa’s children.
If you are a kinship caregiver, it may have been a while since you have parented a child or cared for a child at this age. Relative caregivers are often placed into parenting situations for which they are not completely prepared. IFAPA is a resource for families in this situation.
Become a Member of IFAPA
Kinship families can become a member of IFAPA for free! To become a member, please call IFAPA at 800-277-8145 ext. 1.
Membership Benefits Include:
- Free training opportunities for IFAPA's foster/adoptive/kinship parents
- Free publications written for Iowa's foster/adoptive/kinship parents
- Free or low-cost events
- Low-cost annual fall & spring conferences
- Free News & Views newsletter e-mailed to parents quarterly
- Free Weekly Word newsletter e-mailed to parents on a weekly basis
Have a Question? Need Support?
Call Kaci O'Day Goldstein
800-277-8145 ext. 6 or 515-289-4567 ext. 6
Courses for Kinship Parents
IFAPA offers a wide variety of free parenting courses which are available to any kinship caregiver. View IFAPA's Current Courses
To locate support groups for kinship caregivers, visit our support group page.
IFAPA Kinship Sheet
This flyer provides a general overview of kinship care and how IFAPA can support kinship caregivers. VIEW FLYER
Raising Relatives' Children Booklet
This guidebook was created to help Iowa kinship caretakers navigate the DHS and
Juvenile Court systems when they are caring for a relative’s child. The booklet includes information on the different types of care a kinship caretaker can provide, financial assistance programs, community resources, and questions to ask DHS when considering a kinship placement. This booklet also includes information on children's issues, family concerns, respite, educational issues, raising children of
color, talking with children about their parents and much more helpful information.
IFAPA produces many other helpful publications for foster, adoptive and kinship parents. To view these publications, click on the following links:
IFAPA Lifebook Pages
Grand Resources: A Grandparent’s and Other Relative’s Guide to Raising Children with Disabilities
Generations United developed this GUIDE to equip caregivers, including those that provide full and part-time care to relative children, with the national resources they need to help their children thrive, now and in the future. In addition to the guide, Generations United has developed a RESOURCE DIRECTORY that serves as a companion piece to the guide and provides a detailed list of the quality services, resources, information, and advocacy tools vital for children with disabilities.
Crisis / Referral Help Phone Numbers
Other Kinship Links / Resources
American Bar Association - Kinship Care Legal Research Center
Judical Tip Sheet - Kin First (Keeping Families Together)
A Resource Guide for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Child in Oregon
Children's Defense Fund
Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center
Grandparents.com - Grandparents Caring for Grandkids Forum
Grandparents.com - When You're a Parent Again
Grandparents.com - The Grandparents Rights to Legal Resources
Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Iowa Department of Elder Affairs
Western Michigan University - Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
University of Wisconsin Extension - Grandparenting Today (Over 100 Fact Sheets)