Financial well-being in family-based foster care: Exploring variation in income supports for kin and non-kin caregivers in California.


Kinship foster parents have the same responsibilities as nonrelative foster parents and are held to the same standards of rehabilitative care. Nonetheless, their rights to financial supports and their access to other services vary across states depending on the federal eligibility of the child, and/or the licensing criteria caregivers may or may not meet. We know little about the financial supports, well-being, or services of kinship caregivers receiving differential payment schemes and whether or not these financial supports and services make any difference. More fundamentally, in states that operate two- or more -tiered funding schemes for kinship foster parents, we currently cannot even estimate what proportion of kin caregivers receive more, less, or nothing from the government, even though all are entitled to something. Kin and non-kin caregivers in two California counties responded to a written survey focused on the financial wellbeing and income supports available to families. Sources of support were associated with the availability and utilization of other child welfare services for caregivers and for children.