Across the nation, 4% of all kids — more than 2.6 million children — are in kinship care. In this arrangement, relatives raise kids when their parents cannot care for them.
There are three general and sometimes overlapping categories of kinship care. These categories are: 1) private or informal care, where families make arrangements with or without legal recognition of a caregiver’s status; 2) diversion kinship care, where children who have come to the attention of child welfare agencies end up living with a relative or close friend of the family. and 3) licensed or unlicensed kinship care, where kids live with relatives but remain in legal custody of the state.