This brief, generated with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shares insights and opinions on the use of kinship diversion as a preventative practice in child welfare. Its findings stem from four main sources: field work, stakeholder interviews, administrative data reviews and a digital survey tool.
A familiar child protection option that flies under the data radar
Findings on the Practice of Kinship Diversion
Grandparents are the most frequent relatives (48%) providing care through diversion arrangements followed by aunts and uncles (17%), according to data from one state.
More than half of one state’s kindship diversion cases — 58% — involved just one child, 24% involved two children and 18% involved three or more children.
A Noted Difference
Compared to kids involved in prevention cases — a category that includes kinship diversion — children who were formally removed to kin were more likely to have multiple maltreatment referrals and referrals involving multiple perpetrators.
Statements on the Practice of Kinship Diversion
Kinship diversion is the most common out-of-home placement, with approximately half of children involved in investigations ending up in a diversion arrangement.
Clear practice guidelines and collection of accurate, consistent child-level information are needed to know the number of children living in informal kinship arrangements.
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