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Kinship Care

Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program

1-844-OHIO-KAN |

Many Ohio children are fortunate to be cared for by kinship caregivers when their own parents are unable or unavailable to care for them. Kinship caregivers may be relatives, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and even older siblings. About 100,000 grandparents are currently raising their grandchildren in Ohio right now.


Grandparents may use a caregiver power of attorney or caretaker authorization affidavit approved by the Ohio General Assembly in 2012.

Kinship caregivers may also be close family friends, neighbors, coaches, Sunday school teachers, and others familiar to the child and family. Many individuals step up to provide temporary and sometimes permanent care, raising “extended family children.” While many of these kinship arrangements happen outside the child protection system, children services agencies recognize research showing that children and youth raised by a safe, familiar kinship caregiver have better outcomes than those children in unrelated foster care, including more regular school attendance, better grades and fewer community problems. And they are less likely to move from home to home. That’s why when courts remove children from their home, agencies seek first to place them with kin.

Support for Kinship Families

There is a broad continuum of family arrangements and governmental supports when a child is placed out of the parents’ home. Arrangements range from informal to judicially ordered. Families may qualify for additional benefits. To learn more, contact your local Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program toll-free at 1-844-OHIO-KAN. A navigator can direct both kin and adoptive families to benefits available through the county Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) and online at

Other Resources for Kin Caregivers