Under the Umbrella: Relative Care Giving

It could be the easiest or the toughest choice you ever have to make. Eitherway, taking in a relative who needs out-of-home care brings its own unique challenges and joys. As a relative caregiver, you may find yourself walking a fine and delicate path of providing care for a child while also trying to maintain and nurture your relationship with your relative, the child’s birth parent.

There are some strategies you might consider to help ease the transition. These, of course, depend on the age and development of the child. They include:

  • having an open and honest conversation about your changing role with the child
  • having the child help create household rules
  • making a clear schedule for visitation times
  • having established family meeting times, where the child can speak openly about how he feels about his move and his living situation.

Though the going might get tough at times, providing care for a relative can help to ease the fears, uncertainties, and trauma of entering out-of-home care. Being placed with someone they know and trust, can help children in out-of-home care with things like attachment, building trusting relationships, and maintaining birth family connections.

Whether you are new to relative care giving or have been providing care for an extended period, we invite you to explore the resources below. Please also know that the Coalition is here to help support you and your whole family. You can reach out to us at any time – 1-800-762-8063 or info@coalitionforcyf.org.

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