Child Welfare Outcomes

Articles in this section focus on the child welfare outcomes of kinship care, often compared to that of non-kinship foster care.

1. Garcia, Antonio, Amanda O’Reilly, Meredith Matone, Minseop Kim, Jin Long, and David M. Rubin. “The influence of caregiver depression on children in non-relative foster care versus kinship care placements.” Maternal and child health journal 19, no. 3 (2015): 459-467.

Children in kinship care experience better behavioral outcomes than children in non-relative foster care. Emotional and behavioral outcomes among children in kinship placements are more likely to improve when caregivers demonstrate a reduction in depression over time or are never depressed (ChildFocus).

2. Font, Sarah A. “Kinship and nonrelative foster care: The effect of placement type on child wellbeing.” Child Development 85, no. 5 (September 2014): 2074-2090.

This article compares the academic achievement, behavior, and health of children in formal kinship care to children in nonrelative foster care, with the purpose of examining the effects of placement type. Utilizing a national sample of 1,215 kin and foster children, the authors found their results to vary: they consistently estimated a negative effect of kinship care placement on child reading scores but in math and cognitive skills, and even health, there was no substantive difference between children in different placement types.

3. Goodman, Catherine Chase, Marilyn Potts, Eileen Mayers Pasztor, and Dolores Scorzo. “Grandmothers as kinship caregivers: Private arrangements compared to public child welfare oversight.” Children and Youth Services Review 26, no. 3 (2004): 287-305.

The study that this article discusses examined 500+ grandmothers providing full kinship care, informally (private) and formally (public), for their grandchildren. The results implied that child welfare was targeting at risk families successfully. While there was an indication that private kinship care providers had cared for their grandchild longer, there was evidence that, among other things, kinship care providers likely were the guardian of their grandchildren due to parental drug use and neglect.

4. Guzell-Roe, Jacqueline R., Jean M. Gerard, and Laura Landry-Meyer. “Custodial grandparents’ perceived control over caregiving outcomes: Raising children the second time around.” Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 3, no. 2 (2005): 43-61.

The study that this article discusses explored the nature of the relationship between custodial grandparent’s perception of control and their disciplinary practices. While the results showed an association between poor grandchild behaviors and heightened grandparent perception of control, this result was especially prevalent in African-American grandparent families.

5. Silverstein, Merril. “Benefits of grandparents raising grandchildren.” Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 5, no. 3 (2007): 131-134.

This article describes the mutual benefits that arise from grandparents raising grandchildren. The author gives multiple reasons as to why both grandparents and grandchildren benefit from this unique relationship. For grandparents she argues raising grandchildren gives them renewed purpose in life and refreshes their mental and physical capabilities. The benefits for grandchildren being raised by their grandparents range from psychological to educational and financial.