Stability

Articles in this section focus on topics of stability in kinship care, for both caregivers and children.

1. Bullock, Karen. “Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren.” J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 32 (2005): 43.

This article explores the understudied population of grandfathers caring for their grandchildren. Using data gathered from a study of grandfathers in a rural community in North Carolina, the author looks at how grandfathers experience feelings of powerlessness and instability in their roles as caregivers for their grandchildren. The author argues that special attention, through services and policies, should be afforded to older men who step into the role of caretakers.

2. Helton, Jesse J. “Children with behavioral, non-behavioral, and multiple disabilities, and the risk of out-of-home placement disruption.” Child abuse & neglect 35, no. 11 (2011): 956-964.

Placement with kin decreased the likelihood of disruption for a majority of children, and children with different types of disabilities were no more or less likely to disrupt in kinship care compared to children with no disability (ChildFocus)

3. Liao, Minli, and Kevin R. White. “Post-permanency service needs, service utilization, and placement discontinuity for kinship versus non-kinship families.” Children And Youth Services Review 44, (September 2014): 370-378.

This article compares quality of life between kinship and non-kinship post-permanency families. Specifically, the authors compared service needs and service utilization in these two types of family in the aftermath of achieved permanency. Through their research, the authors highlight a few significant findings: There exist substantive differences in socio-demographic characteristics for children and caregivers in kinship placements as compared to those in non-kinship placements. Furthermore, Kinship caregivers reported fewer needs and sought fewer services than non-kinship caregivers. Reasons for placement failure were somewhat consistent between kin and non-kin placements and included child behavior problems, adoptive versus guardianship placement, and the marital status of caregiver

4. Park, Jung Min, and Jesse Helton. “Transitioning from informal to formal substitute care following maltreatment investigation.” Children and Youth Services Review 32, no. 7 (2010): 998-1003.

Children in informal kinship care experience a high level of placement stability in spite of a high rate of transition from kinship care to formal out-of-home care (ChildFocus).

5. Webb, Mary Bruce. Child welfare and child well-being: New perspectives from the national survey of child and adolescent well-being. Oxford University Press, 2010.

When permanency moves were ignored, formal foster care remained highly unstable, whereas children under the care of kin and other informal non-kin caregivers were statistically indistinguishable from children residing in homes of birth parents.

6. Zinn, A., DeCoursey, J., Goerge, R.M., & Courtney, M.E. (2006). A study of placement stability in Illinois. Chapin Hall.

This study found that the average number of placements children experience could be effectively reduced by placing them with relatives at entry to care, which would afford children the stability of relative homes without requiring them to endure a subsequent change in placement.