This fact sheet examines differences between urban and rural areas in foster care placement with informal kin caregivers. The data for this analysis come from a national sample of children who had a maltreatment report that resulted in an investigation: the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Author Wendy Walsh reports that informal kinship placement settings, where a parent voluntarily places a child with a family member, were the most common out-of-home placement in both rural and urban areas. Informal placements involve children who are in physical custody of a relative but may remain in legal custody of a parent. Children aged 3 to 5 with a child maltreatment report in rural areas and those in very poor rural households (incomes less than 50 percent of federal poverty level) were more likely to be in informal kinship settings than similar children in urban areas.

Publication Date



National Fact Sheet No. 24


Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2013. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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