Aida hadn’t talked to her sister in weeks when she received the call. “Your niece and nephew were found alone in the apartment again. Would you be willing to take the kids temporarily?”
A version of this scenario plays out for millions of American families each year, with the opioid crisis contributing to an ever-increasing number of children entering foster care. Child welfare practice prioritizes placing children with relatives wherever possible, resulting in over 2.5 million children in the U.S. being raised by a relative without a birth parent in the home.
While relative placements maintain crucial family/cultural connections and produce the best possible outcomes for children needing out of home care, relative caregiving can have a dramatic impact on the daily life of caregivers. For this issue of Fostering Across Wisconsin, we talked to some caregivers about how becoming and being a relative caregiver has impacted their lives.