Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)




Most children cannot imagine living without their parents; for some though, because of social instability, substance abuse, or parental neglect, life apart from their parents is the reality. When these children are cared for by a relative or a close family friend without the involvement of a child welfare agency, the family that is created is known as an informal kinship care family. Because of the fluid nature of these families, little is known about them, leaving this group disadvantaged and neglected by the health care community. After a review of the existing literature, observation of informal kinship care families, and conversations with informal kinship caregivers and children, a conceptual model is proposed to help identify the unique challenges of this neglected group and ensure the holistic and sustained well-being of the children and adults who make up the informal kinship care family. The proposed model uses Margaret Newman's Theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness and the strengths of transcultural nursing to widen the definition of the patient and redefine health to include a holistic view. The key concepts of holism, relationship, hope, and transformation are explored and used to deepen the meaning of the model. After implementation and evaluation, the goal is that families cared for under the model will experience transformation and sustained well-being.


SC 11.MAN.2013.Hansen.EJ