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Leveraging Data to Seek Funding, Understand Kinship/Grandfamilies, and Inform Practice

February 13, 2024

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Annie E Casey Foundation Kids Count

Child Trends State-level Data for Understanding Child Welfare in the United States

United States Census Families and Households Data Table 1

United States Census Families and Households Data Table 2

United States Census Families and Households Data Table 3

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

High-quality data is critical for seeking funding and informing changes to policy and practice that meaningfully improve the experiences and well-being of kinship/grandfamilies. The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network hosted a webinar on February 13, 2024 with researchers from Child Trends which provided an overview of how existing data sources can be used and combined in innovative and creative ways to provide meaningful information about kinship/ grandfamilies. Please listen to the webinar recording to learn more!

Attendees learned how kinship and grandfamilies are represented in existing data sources, including:

  1. Population-level surveys (e.g., surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau)
  2. Child welfare system administrative data (e.g., National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System [NCANDS], Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System [AFCARS])
  3. Key research studies focused on child welfare involvement
  4. Large longitudinal studies of child development and well-being (e.g., Future of Families and Child Well-Being Study)
  5. National studies exploring health and aging (e.g., Health & Retirement Study; Midlife in the U.S. [MIDUS]).  

After this informational overview, webinar presenters showed attendees how to use publicly available national datasets to isolate statistics and identify trends related to kinship/grandfamilies. We walked through examples of how to glean information about grandfamilies using data not intentionally designed to capture information about grandfamilies (e.g., U.S. Census data). We explored differences across geographic areas and over time, as well as differences in the racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds of kinship/grandfamilies.  

The webinar closed with recommendations to support the use of pre-existing data and ongoing data collection efforts to broaden the knowledge base and available data related to kinship/grandfamilies in the U.S. 

Presented by:

Brittany P. Mihalec-Adkins, PhD, Research Scientist, Child Welfare, Child Trends

Norma Hatfield, GRAND Voice (Kentucky), Generations United

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