Advertisement

Health Status and Type of Out-of-Home Placement: Informal Kinship Care in an Investigated Sample

      Abstract

      Objective

      To assess the sociodemographic, health, and mental health of children in different types of out-of-home placements after investigation by child welfare agencies; to determine whether there are systematic differences in the children and their caregivers by type of out-of-home placements; and to provide the first description of these characteristics in a nationally representative sample for children in informal kinship care after child welfare involvement.

      Methods

      Using data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW II), we compared children (0–17.5 years) in formal nonkinship foster care, formal kinship foster care, and informal kinship care shortly after a child welfare investigation. All analyses were weighted to reflect the sampling design.

      Results

      Children in informal kinship care are at comparable risk of having chronic health conditions and poorer health but are less likely to receive school-based services. All children in kinship care (formal and informal) are less likely to be reported to have mental health problems and are more likely to live with older caregivers whose educational level is low and whose health is reportedly poorer.

      Conclusions

      Although children in kinship care have health problems similar to children in nonkinship foster care, they are likely to live in families with fewer economic and educational resources. This mismatch between need and access has implications for the long-term well-being of the children who are living in informal kinship arrangements without system-level support of formal foster care.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Academic Pediatrics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Stein R.E.K.
        • Hurlburt M.S.
        • Heneghan A.
        • et al.
        Chronic conditions among children investigated by child welfare.
        Pediatrics. 2013; 131: 455-462
        • Horwitz S.M.
        • Hurlburt M.S.
        • Cohen S.D.
        • et al.
        Predictors of placement for children who initially remained in their homes after an investigation for abuse and neglect.
        Child Abuse Negl. 2011; 35: 188-198
        • Kreider R.M.
        • Ellis R.
        Living arrangements of children: 2009.
        in: Current Population Reports. US Census Bureau, Washington, DC2011: 70-126
        • Geen R.
        The evolution of kinship care policy and practice.
        Future Child. 2004; 14: 131-149
        • Child Welfare Information Gateway
        Placement of Children With Relatives.
        US Dept of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Washington, DC2013
        • Dolan M.M.
        • Casanueva C.
        • Smith K.R.
        Bradley RH. Parenting and the home environment provided by grandmothers of children in the child welfare system.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2009; 31: 784-796
        • Sakai C.
        • Lin H.
        • Flores G.
        Health outcomes and family services in kinship care analysis of a national sample of children in the child welfare system.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011; 165: 159-165
        • Winokur M.
        • Holtan A.
        • Valentine D.
        Kinship care for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment.
        Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014; 1: CD006546
        • Koh E.
        Permanency outcomes of children in kinship and non-kinship foster care: testing the external validity of kinship effects.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2010; 32: 389-398
        • Fechter-Leggett M.O.
        • Obrien K.O.
        The effects of kinship care on adult mental health outcomes of alumni of foster care.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2010; 32: 206-213
        • Winokur M.A.
        • Crawford G.A.
        • Longobardi R.C.
        • Valentine D.P.
        Matched comparison of children in kinship care and foster care on child welfare outcomes.
        Fam Soc. 2008; 89: 338-346
        • Dubowitz H.
        • Feigelman S.
        • Zuravin S.
        • et al.
        The physical health of children in kinship care.
        Am J Dis Child. 1992; 146: 603-610
        • Ehrle J.
        • Geen R.
        Kin and non-kin foster care: findings from a national survey.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2002; 24: 15-35
        • Schneiderman J.U.
        • Leslie L.K.
        • Arnold-Clark J.S.
        • et al.
        Pediatric health assessments of young children in child welfare by placement type.
        Child Abuse Negl. 2011; 35: 29-39
        • Dowd K.
        • Dolan M.
        • Wallin J.
        • et al.
        National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II: Combined Waves 1–2 Data File User’s Manual, Restricted Release Version.
        Cornell University, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Ithaca, NY2011
        • Paulhus D.L.
        • Reid D.B.
        Enhancement and denial in socially desirable responding.
        J Pers Soc Psychol. 1991; 60: 307-317
        • Payne S.L.
        The Art of Asking Questions.
        Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ1973
        • Kessler R.C.
        • Andrews G.
        • Mroczek D.
        • et al.
        The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short-Form (CIDI-SF).
        Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 1998; 7: 171-185
        • Kessler R.C.
        National Comorbidity Survey, 1990–1992.
        Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Ann Arbor, Mich2000
        • Stein R.E.K.
        • Westbrook L.E.
        • Bauman L.J.
        The Questionnaire for Identifying Children With Chronic Conditions (QuICCC): a measure based on a noncategorical approach.
        Pediatrics. 1997; 99: 513-521
        • Stein R.E.K.
        • Silver E.J.
        • Bauman L.J.
        Shortening the Questionnaire for Identifying Children With Chronic Conditions (QuICCC): what is the consequence?.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 107: E61
        • Briggs-Gowan M.J.
        • Carter A.S.
        • Irwin J.R.
        • et al.
        The Brief Infant–Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment: screening for social–emotional problems and delays in competence.
        J Pediatr Psychol. 2004; 29: 143-155
        • Briggs-Gowan M.J.
        • Carter A.S.
        Social–emotional screening status in early childhood predicts elementary school outcomes.
        Pediatrics. 2008; 121: 957-962
        • SUDAAN; Research Triangle Institute
        SUDAAN User’s Manual. Release 10.0.
        Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC2008
        • Shore N.
        • Sim K.E.
        • LeProhn N.S.
        • Keller T.E.
        Foster parent and teacher assessments of youth in kinship and non-kinship foster care placements: are behaviors perceived differently across settings?.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2002; 24: 109-134
        • Sholonsky A.R.
        • Berwick J.D.
        Assessing and promoting quality in kin and nonkin foster care.
        Soc Serv Rev. 2001; 75: 60-83