Systematic review of kinship care effects on safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes
- WINOKUR Marc A., HOLTAN Amy, BATCHELDER Keri E.
- Journal article citation:
- Research on Social Work Practice, 28(1), 2018, pp.19-32.
Objective: Children in out-of-home placements typically display more educational, behavioural, and psychological problems than do their peers. This systematic review evaluated the effect of kinship care placement compared to foster care placement on the safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment. Methods: Review authors independently read titles and abstracts identified in the searches, selected appropriate studies, assessed the eligibility of each study, evaluated the methodological quality, and extracted outcome data for meta-analysis. Results: Outcome data from the 102 included quasi-experimental studies suggest that, as compared to children in foster care, children in kinship care experience fewer behavioural problems and mental health disorders, better well-being, less placement disruption, fewer mental health services, and similar reunification rates. Conclusions: This review supports the practice of treating kinship care as a viable out-of-home placement option. This conclusion is tempered by methodological and design weaknesses of the included studies. (Edited publisher abstract)