Since 1980, the U.S. child welfare system has exhibited an increasing reliance upon kinship caregivers as a resource for children who have been removed from the homes of their birthparents due to allegations of abuse or neglect. Literature suggests that agencies differ considerably in their treatment of kinship care providers; however, limited research has been conducted examining the causes and implications of this variation, especially in the case of Ohio’s county-based system. The current study thus aims to define the distinguishing characteristics of kinship policies and procedures of child welfare agencies across Ohio, and to consider the impact of various factors upon agencies’ involvement with kinship caregivers. A kinship policy survey was designed in collaboration with local agency staff and the director of PCSAO, a large membership of Ohio public children services agencies, and then distributed to Ohio’s 88 county agencies. One hundred and forty-three respondents from 45 (51%) counties participated, and seven interviews supplement the quantitative data. Local kinship policies and procedures were found to be significantly impacted by the designation of a kinship worker, preferences for particular legal and licensure statuses for kin, various county-level demographic characteristics, and restrictions in agencies’ funding streams.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology


Family, Life Course, and Society | Politics and Social Change | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Statistics | Social Work | Sociology


kinship, foster care, family, child welfare, Ohio, policy

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2014 Andreja M. Siliunas