What Is Foster Care?

Foster care is generally when a child is placed in the custody of either a family member or a group home.  When a child is placed with a family member, this is called Kinship Care, and the child will live with either a relative like a brother, sister, or grandparent, a godparent, or any adult that has a kinship bond with the child.  A Group home will house at least six children and are subject to many different federal laws.  Both a group home and kinship care should be done through a formal process with the courts or Child Protective Services (CPS).  There are many reasons a child may end up in foster care, from parent deaths, to abuse, neglect, abandonment or some other reason.  However, many of these group homes receive funds from either a local government or federal government, additionally, kinship care can include assistance based on the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 as well as Title IV of the Social Security Act and Indian Child Welfare Act.   While some family members may decide a child should live with another relative, it is best to consult an attorney on how to make these decisions more permanent.  

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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