This study utilized Concept Mapping (CM) to examine the needs of 105 kinship caregivers in one southeastern state, and to examine priority differences in conceptualization by placement type (formal vs. informal). CM is a mixed-method research methodology that employs multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses to examine relationships among sets of data. Results indicate that kinship providers conceptualize needs via an eight-cluster solution, or concept map. As well, data suggest key priority differences between informal and formal caregivers in areas of financial, legal, and public outreach needs. After a brief review of literature about kinship care, this paper will explain results from the study, discuss findings in relation to previous works about kinship, and explicate practice, policy, education, and research implications derived from study findings.

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