Why Relative Placement Is Best for a Child in Need of Care


While a foster home can care for a child, there are often many relatives willing to step up, and there is no comparison to the benefits of a family’s love and connection.

By Avery Alexson Guidry

Child in Need of Care (CINC) is a legal term used in reference to a minor under 18-years-old who has been deemed as facing imminent harm while in the care of his or her parents, or similar parental figure, based on the judge’s discretion with respect to the governing law. There are various circumstances that can cause a child to come into state custody, and every state has its own guidelines for defining a CINC, however the typical reasons would be in cases of parental neglect, abuse, drug usage, abandonment, criminal prosecution, or other similarly aligned acts.  Some states specifically state that if a parent’s inability to care and provide essentials for their child is due solely the parent’s financial situation, a judge cannot find a child to be in need of care.  

In the event that a child is found to be in need of care, said child may be taken into state custody and placed out of the home while the parents work towards regaining custody of their child. At this point there are two options for where the child may go: either placed in a certified foster home or placed with a relative. The proper governing authorities inspect the home of potential placements, particularly for potential relative placements, in order to ensure that the placement is appropriate for caring for the minor child. 

Read the full brief. ABA Center for Children and the Law 2019

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