Alternative Title

Exploring experiences of relative probate guardianship in Los Angeles, CA.

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Kinship care, Child welfare, Guardian and ward, Foster home care, Kinship diversion, Child welfare system, Legal guardianship, Relative caregivers, Relative care, Informal care, Voluntary care, Foster care


This qualitative study explored the characteristics and experiences of relative caregivers in Los Angeles County who were involved in a child welfare practice called “kinship diversion.” It specifically examined cases in which caregivers were diverted to probate court to obtain legal guardianship of their relatives' children as an alternative to opening a case with the child welfare system due to allegations of abuse or neglect against the biological parents. Five kinship caregivers were interviewed with a focus on answering the questions of who is diverted to legal guardianship, and why?

The findings of this study showed that diversion occurred in a range of circumstances, but all participants were already caring for their relatives' children at the time the child welfare system became involved. Furthermore, caregivers were uniformly dedicated to keeping the children out of the child welfare system, even if it meant sacrificing potential financial reimbursement.




iii, 66 pages : illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-57)

Included in

Social Work Commons