Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

American Indian And Alaska Native Children More Likely To Live In Grandfamilies And Face Heightened Challenges With Limited Supports


WASHINGTON, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Compared to all other racial or ethnic groups in the United States, American Indian and Alaska Native children are more likely to live in grandfamilies (aka grandparents and other relatives raising grandchildren, kinship care). These children are dramatically overrepresented both in kinship foster care and in grandfamilies who live outside the formal foster care system. The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis to disproportionately impact Native peoples, and more grandfamilies are coming together every day as a result.

There is a long and proud tradition of extended family relationships and kinship care in Native cultures, and the disproportionate number of American Indian and Alaska Native grandfamilies reflect that strength.

"Cousins may refer to one another as brother and sister. Aunts and uncles may be called mom and dad. Within this kinship structure, there are many potential caregivers and natural supports," as Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) said.


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