Participants strongly agreed that it is more desirable to place a child with a relative than a stranger.
· If the relative loves the child, the relative is much better than a stranger. The child already knows them. Being a relative would mean that person would take better care of the children, have a little more love and concern than a total stranger. It’s less strange for them. They’re not taken away totally from their families.
However, participants also voiced concerns about relative placements.
· The natural parent may still have too much access to the child.
· Abuse can be a learned family trait, and a relative may be as abusive as the natural parents.
· The family as a whole could be permanently damaged. If they go back to the parents home, the tendency would be to show animosity toward the relatives because they, in effect, took their kids away. It could tear a whole family apart.
Participants strongly agreed that kinship caregivers must be thoroughly investigated before placing a child with them. No one was opposed to giving kinship families some financial assistance but in the all-Latino group, “Only if they truly need the money,” was an important qualifier.