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Kinship foster care

Date created
Author: Schwartz, C.
Author: Waddell, C.
Author: Barican, J.
Author: Dickson, S.
Background: Kinship care occurs when a relative other than a parent provides care for a child. It can be formal, such as when a child protection agency funds the placement, or informal, such as when parents arrange for an individual to care for their child without involvement of the child protection system. Regardless of the type of kinship care, there is a need to determine how it affects children’s outcomes.Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify studies evaluating kinship care. Applying our inclusion criteria, we accepted one systematic review which included 102 quas-experimental studies. We also identified two quasi-experimental studies published since the systematic review that met inclusion criteria.Results: Kinship care was associated with greater stability for children, including fewer out-of-home placements, a reduced number of placements, and greater odds of having a relative assume legal custody than typical foster care placements. Kinship care was also associated with mental health benefits for children, including better emotional well-being and improved adaptive behaviours as well as a reduction in behavioural problems and mental disorders.Conclusions: Kinship care has many potential benefits for children when their parents are unable to care for them. Relatives willing to provide kinship care need to be provided with adequate resources to ensure they can provide the best care possible.
Published as
Schwartz, C., Waddell, C., Barican, J., Gray-Grant, D., Dickson, S., & Nightingale, L. (2014). Kinship foster care. Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, 8(3), 1–16. Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.
Publication title
Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly
Document title
Kinship foster care
Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
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