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Kinship care is now a crucial factor for social workers - and for courts - considering the future of children living away from home. The law requires it, and there is a growing shortage of quality options for foster and residential placements. But many prospective carers - family and friends - perceive welfare agencies as unsupportive, find the prospect of assessment daunting, and later doubt its validity, having experienced it as a disempowering and imposing process. This can result from their being excluded from care planning and caught up in assessments based on concepts of 'family dysfunction'. But even experienced assessors often lack the necessary skill and knowledge base to consider the specific issues, strengths and difficulties associated with kinship placements. This book harnesses evidence to inform development of a specific, sensitive and holistic framework for assessment and offers: research evidence summaries; a critique of contemporary assessment structures; legal contexts; the impact and implications of drug and substance misuse; issues in respect of learning disability; inter-generational sexual abuse; domestic violence; contact issues; balancing risk and family preservation. It concludes by offering a detailed, practical framework for conducting assessment of kinship placements, which fills the gaps and limitations of the current and forthcoming assessment structures advocated by central government.