Journal Article

What Factors Relate to Good Placement Outcomes in Kinship Care?

Elaine Farmer

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 2, pages 426-444
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
What Factors Relate to Good Placement Outcomes in Kinship Care?

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Since recent legislation and other developments are likely to lead to increased use of placements with kin, this paper considers the evidence base about the factors that relate to good outcomes in kinship care in England. It is based on a study using case file reviews on 270 children, half of whom were in kin and half in stranger foster care, and interviews with a sub-sample of thirty-two family and friends carers and a number of social workers, parents and children. The placement outcomes considered were placement quality and disruption. The study found that the kin placements that were most likely to disrupt were those in which children were older at placement, showed difficult behaviour, there was an absence of high carer commitment and contact was not supervised. There were also lower levels of disruption in placements with grandparents and when kin carers had been approved as foster carers and so received financial and practical support. However, poorer quality placements lasted significantly longer in kin than in stranger foster care. Moreover, the outcomes of kin placements turned out to vary widely by local authority. The implications of these findings for policy and practice are considered.

Keywords: Kinship care; kin care; family and friends placements; foster care; placement outcomes; carer commitment; carer strain; contact; support

Journal Article.  6922 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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