Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comparing Kin and Non-Kin Placements and Outcomes

Interesting new study on kin vs. non-kin placements: How do Placements in Kinship Care Compare with Those in Non-Kin Foster Care: Placement Patterns, Progress and Outcomes?
The research reported in this paper was based on case file reviews of 270 children, half in kin placements and half in stranger foster care, and on interviews with a sub-sample of 32 kin carers, social workers, children and parents. Kin carers were found to be significantly more disadvantaged than stranger foster carers: more kin carers were lone carers, with health problems, living in overcrowded conditions and had financial difficulties. The children, in contrast, were remarkably similar in the two kinds of placement. ... kin placements lasted longer, mainly because fewer were planned as interim placements. However, because kin carers persisted with very challenging children and yet received fewer services than stranger foster carers, they were more often under strain. The implications for policy and practice are examined. (Author abstract)

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