Nearly four out of every ten children in foster care are cared for by relatives or close family friends, rather than being placed in licensed Foster Care homes.

Family care is often the best option for children who have been removed from their birth parents, and that is why San Mateo County offers a range of Kinship Care services to support our valued family caregivers.

Maintaining these family attachments can be crucial to a child's self-esteem, mental health, and development, but it can also stressful for both the relative and the child. We work with adults who have stepped up to care for the children of relatives and close friends, including extended family and non-related family members.

Kinship Support Services are not offered to licensed foster parents.

Our Services include:

Community Health Nursing - Home visits, developmental assessments for children up to age 5, nutrition counseling, and special training for caregivers living with medically fragile children. Our "Lets Live Well" program provides support and training for caregivers living with chronic health problems of their own.

Counseling - Individual and family therapy for any youth in the home through age 18, if they are covered by Medi-Cal health insurance.

Legal and Educational Advocacy - Assisting families with legal guardianship issues, government benefits programs, and school enrollment, including Special Education and Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

Support Groups - Parenting-education support groups are peer-led by adult caregivers living in our community. Transportation and childcare may be available for participants.

Case Management - Our case managers look at the big picture, and help craft solutions for your family's individual needs.