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The health and well-being of children placed in kinship care is better than that of children in foster care

By OnePlusOne, 26 July 2016

This plain language summary from the Campbell Collaboration presents findings from a review summarising 102 studies involving 666,615 children in care. The review included studies published between March 2007 and March 2011. The original review was published in March 2014. The summary outlines that the likelihood that guardianship is awarded to relatives is higher for children in kinship care compared to foster care.

Findings indicate that there are no differences between kinship and foster care for the rates of reunification with birth parents, the length of stay in placement, children’s educational attainment, the strength of family relations or the degree to which developmental and physician services are utilised. However, children in kinship care have better behavioural and mental health than children in foster care. The summary notes that lesser support may be given to kinship carers compared to foster carers.

The summary concludes that kinship care is a viable option for the children that need to be removed from the home for maltreatment. However, policy issues remain to balance the cost-effectiveness of kinship care with a possible need for increased levels of caseworker involvement and service delivery.

Read the full summary here.



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