CA-FKC Standard. Generated 6/28/2022. ©2022 Council on Accreditation.
2022 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Definition


Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.


Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Programs work with parents, children, and caregivers to provide children with safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary care in family settings, that promotes well-being and ensures strong connections with family, peers, and community. When children are separated from their families due to maltreatment or other family circumstances, services and supports are provided to facilitate reunification and stability, and ensure that all children have permanent living arrangements as well as safe and nurturing relationships that will endure over time.
Family Foster Care is provided by foster parents who volunteer to bring children into their families and give them opportunities for family and community living. Foster parents are recruited, assessed, selected, credentialed, trained, and retained for this voluntary role. Foster parents always care for children in the custody of the local child welfare agency and serve as partners in child protection, well-being, and permanency.

Kinship Care is the full-time care of children by relatives, members of tribes or clans, or anyone to whom a family relationship is ascribed. Kinship caregivers may provide care through arrangements made privately or informally in the family, or through arrangements made with the involvement and oversight of the local child welfare agency. In some jurisdictions or circumstances kin may serve as foster parents. Kinship care builds on the strengths of family relationships and ensures children’s continued connections to their family networks and community supports, while recognizing that the entire family (children, parents, and kinship caregivers) may need an array of services. Their natural role, the dynamics of family relationships, and the strengths and needs of kin requires that organizations form strong collaborations with kinship caregivers in order to best promote permanency and the preservation of families.
Treatment Foster Care provides a therapeutic family environment and intensive