Kinship care is when grandparents, aunts and uncles, other relatives, or close family friends, take care of children when their parents are unable to do so due to challenging family situations.
When children must be separated from their parents, placing them with other family members, or close family friends, is often an ideal solution to the situation. It provides children with the opportunity to grow and learn in a supportive, loving, safe home environment while retaining a sense of family, cultural heritage, and community ties.
Nearly 3 million children in the United States and more than 5,000 children in Fairfax County are being raised in kinship care. Kinship caregiving is found in all socioeconomic, educational, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Unfortunately, often the adults in these newly created kinship families, did not expect to become caregivers and they need support.
Fairfax County along with public and private organizations recognize the importance of kinship caregivers and the children they are raising in stable, loving and nurturing households. Fairfax County is committed to helping to connect kinship families with resources, trainings and support groups focused on kinship families’ needs.