Kinship care is a term defined in the Code of Virginia as “the full time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives.”
Informal Kinship Care
Informal Kinship Care refers to an arrangement made by parents or other family members without any involvement from the court or child welfare system.
Formal Kinship Care
Formal Kinship Care is when legal custody is granted by a formal order of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge to the kinship care provider or the local Department of Social Services. If the Department has legal custody of the child, the child is in Foster Care.
When the child is removed and placed into Foster Care, the agency may place the child with a relative or non-relative approved foster family. Once a child enters Foster Care, they can only be in an approved foster care placement. Relatives wanting to become a Foster Care placement option for a child in care should contact the Department of Social Services to begin the approval process.
In addition to working a Return Home or “Reunification” goal with the birth parents, Virginia law requires agencies to consider relatives as a short term or permanent placement option.
Why is Kinship Care so Important?
When children are placed in Kinship Care, they experience greater continuity of care and family preservation. Children living with kin have a greater sense of permanency, nurturing, safety and well-being. Kinship care also provides an opportunity to continue family connections, culture, traditions, values and goals.
Children who age out of the foster care system , those who reach age 18 without achieving a permanent home environment, often face lifetime challenges, including homelessness, incarceration, and a lack of educational attainment.
Foster Love Ministries provides ministry and support to the local foster care community. We envision a community where foster families and children experience God’s Love through relational support, education, and tangible needs.
Foster Love Ministries wants to spread our message of hope and compassion. We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly impact the world. Through advocacy and outreach activities, our team works tirelessly each day to contribute their part to the greater good.
Did you know.. sometimes when a child enters foster care a trash bag is used to hold their personal belongings? A TRASH BAG! This is unacceptable. For very little cost, you can show a child they are loved and not forgotten. Perhaps you feel called to help, but feel that taking on a foster child is too difficult at this time. This is an easy way to brighten a child’s outlook.