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Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Foster Care > Relative/Kinship Caregivers > Kinship Caregiver FAQ Kinship Caregiver FAQ

Q: What does Kinship Care mean?
A: Kinship Care refers to the care, nurture and protection of children by relatives or significant adults when children cannot stay in their own home because of child protection concerns.


Q: Why is Kinship Care important?
A: By maintaining family, cultural or community ties, Kinship Care helps the child through the experience of being out of the parental home.


Q: How does Kinship Care differ from Foster Care?
A: Kinship Care homes only provide care for children for whom Children's Services is the legal guardian or custodian and where the caregiver is a relative. Relatives have the option of becoming a licensed Foster Homes, and would also be able to accept non-relative placements. Unlicensed or Informal Kinship (Relative) placements will only be able to provide care for the relative placed with them by DCS and will not be eligible for the monthly per-diem.



Q: Can any child be placed in Kinship Care?
A: Any child for whom Children's Services is the legal guardian or custodian can potentially be placed with family members in a Kinship Care arrangement. If you are interested in caring for a related child please contact their Caseworker as soon as possible.



Q: Why do I have to have a home assessment?
A: A home assessment is required to ensure the safety and basic needs of the child can be met.



Q: Why is a background check required?
A: Criminal record checks are done to ensure a safe placement for the child. DCS requires criminal record checks as part of the home assessment.



Q: Is a Kinship Care provider expected to provide 24 hour care?
A: Yes, however, the child's daytime program and your work schedule are discussed with the Kinship Care Worker to establish a schedule that accommodates everyone's needs.