Kin-First Courtrooms

Visit the Resource Library to explore research, publications, bench cards, and law & policy.

Learning Opportunities

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Check back soon to find trainings that will support your efforts to cultivate kin-first culture in the courtroom.

Legal Peer

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Check back soon to explore how you can connect with legal peers for guidance, networking and peer-to-peer learning.

The Importance of Kinship

Research shows that children in kinship care generally have better mental and physical health, fewer behavior problems, higher levels of competence, more satisfaction with placement, and better outcomes as adults. Every child deserves to have love and stability in their life.

All children have caring and capable kin who are willing to support them when needed. These unique attachments are critical to a child's connection to their culture, community and family. Emphasizing a child’s connections while ensuring safety, rather than solely prioritizing timeframes in efforts to achieve permanency, is critical. By statute, Ohio agencies must work with the family to explore relative options and conduct assessments to determine their willingness and ability to care for the child. This strengthens and preserves families, prevents future maltreatment, and significantly improves a child’s foster care experience.

Barriers to kinship can happen in the judicial process when the child welfare system focuses on meeting the system’s needs and not on the youth or family's needs. This Kin-First Culture in the Courtroom effort seeks to leverage champions in the judicial community to help by providing a resource library, training, and peer support opportunities. The effort kicked off with a convening on January 11 in Columbus. Read about it here.

Kin first courtrooms

Join us in this work! 

Sign up here to receive e-mail updates about this project and even join a committee if you'd like. If you have any questions, please contact Alyse Almadani at