Kinship Care Task Force

Removing a child from their home can be a traumatic experience for children and their parents, but one that can be lessened by enlisting the support of kin. Research tells us that when children are placed with kin, their outcomes are better in the following areas (Kinship Care in Pennsylvania: Creating an Equitable System for Families):

  • Placement stability;
  • School stability and positive educational outcomes;
  • Reduced re-entry into the child welfare system;
  • Permanency through reunification, adoption or guardianship;
  • Better physical, behavioral and mental health outcomes
  • Increased likelihood of living with or staying connected to siblings; and
  • Greater preservation of race and cultural identity, including community connections.

After further discussion on kinship care at the October 2020 State Roundtable (SRT), work began under the direction and leadership of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Max Baer, to examine the use of kinship care in Pennsylvania. The focus on kinship care as a practice connected well to the SRT Mission and Guiding Principles and priority topics such as Family Finding (FF) and Family Group Decision Making (FGDM). To guide and assist this work, the Chief Justice created a Kinship Care Task Force. In order to fully examine and understand contributing factors of high and low kinship care use, task force members were carefully selected. Members include Judges, Child Welfare Administrators and Legal Representation from counties with both high and low use of kinship care, representation from Pennsylvania’s two largest counties, Deputy Secretary, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Department of Human Services and the Office of Children and Families in the Courts.

Click here to see a list of current Kinship Taskforce Members.

Click here to see the Kinship Taskforce’s annual reports to the Pennsylvania State Roundtable.