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Kinship Care and Behavioral Outcomes for Children in the Child Welfare System David Rubin, MD MSCE Director or Research & Policy Safe Place: The Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Kinship Care and Behavioral Outcomes for Children in the Child Welfare System David Rubin, MD MSCE Director or Research & Policy Safe Place: The Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kinship Care and Behavioral Outcomes for Children in the Child Welfare System David Rubin, MD MSCE Director or Research & Policy Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection & Health

2 Background: Child welfare workers often choose between available kin vs. non-relative foster parents when faced with the decision to remove children from their homes.Child welfare workers often choose between available kin vs. non-relative foster parents when faced with the decision to remove children from their homes. Exits to kinship care in recent years have been largely responsible for a nearly 10% drop in the out- of-home population.Exits to kinship care in recent years have been largely responsible for a nearly 10% drop in the out- of-home population. Children in supervised kinship care represent less than 10% of the 2.5 million children being raised in kinship settingsChildren in supervised kinship care represent less than 10% of the 2.5 million children being raised in kinship settings

3 Background: Competing theories on kinship care:Competing theories on kinship care: “Blood is thicker than water” Stronger attachment between caregiver and childStronger attachment between caregiver and child Less disruptiveLess disruptive “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” Kin may share the same risk factors as the birth parentsKin may share the same risk factors as the birth parents Unrestricted and unregulated contact with birth parentsUnrestricted and unregulated contact with birth parents

4 Methods Data Source:Data Source: –National Survey of Child & Adolescent Well- Being (NSCAW) Study Population:Study Population: –Children who entered kinship care or non- relative foster care following report

5 Gender:Gender: 54% female 46% male Age:Age: 28% < 2 years 50% 2-10 years 22% > 10 years Race & Ethnicity:Race & Ethnicity: 50% White 38% African-American 13% Hispanic Abuse type:Abuse type: 57% neglect/abandonment 19% physical abuse 9% sexual abuse Results: Total study population (N = 1,309)

6 Initial Placement SettingInitial Placement Setting –50% kinship care –50% non-relative foster care 36-month CBCL Scores36-month CBCL Scores –38% had scores indicating behavioral problems Results:

7 Were children who were placed into kinship care different from those who were placed into non-relative foster care?

8 Differences in Baseline Characteristics by Initial Placement Setting

9 χ 2 : p =.007 Child’s Baseline Risk for Placement Instability

10 Did children in kinship care have more stability than children in non-relative foster care?

11 Actual Placement Stability (36 Months) χ 2 : p <.001

12 Controlling for the lower baseline risk and increased placement stability among children in kinship care, were behavioral outcomes different between children in kinship and non-relative foster care?

13 Predicted Probability of Behavior Problems at 36 Months Based on Placement Stability and Setting* 31% 30% 25% *Marginal standardization, adjusting for baseline risk and reunification status

14 Some words of caution Although children in kinship had fewer behavioral problems than children in non-relative foster care, their rates of behavioral problems were greater than other children in general.Although children in kinship had fewer behavioral problems than children in non-relative foster care, their rates of behavioral problems were greater than other children in general. Kinship care is not a realistic option for all children who enter out-of-home care.Kinship care is not a realistic option for all children who enter out-of-home care. Reporting bias among the kinship care population might have explained some of the difference.Reporting bias among the kinship care population might have explained some of the difference.

15 From Policy to Impact Non-Relative Kin Care CPS Report Child removed Guardianship vs. Adoption Reunification Adoption Risk Informal Kinship Care

16 From Policy to Impact Non-Relative Kin Care Guardianship vs. Adoption Reunification Adoption Notification CPS Report Child removed Risk Informal Kinship Care

17 From Policy to Impact Non-Relative Kin Care Guardianship vs. Adoption Reunification Adoption Licensing CPS Report Child removed Risk Informal Kinship Care

18 From Policy to Impact Non-Relative Kin Care Guardianship vs. Adoption Reunification Adoption Guardianship Benefits CPS Report Child removed Risk Informal Kinship Care

19 From Policy to Impact Non-Relative Kin Care Guardianship vs. Adoption Reunification Adoption CPS Report Child removed Risk Informal Kinship Care Navigators Navigators Navigators

20 Conclusions Children raised in kinship settings had more stability than children in non- relative foster careChildren raised in kinship settings had more stability than children in non- relative foster care Kinship care conferred benefits to children beyond the increased stability that was achievedKinship care conferred benefits to children beyond the increased stability that was achieved

21 Implications: Provides empirical data to support efforts to improve the early placement of children with kin when appropriateProvides empirical data to support efforts to improve the early placement of children with kin when appropriate Also reinforces the need to provide better services (via accessible navigator programs) among kinship families, which can only support efforts to achieve stability and maintain permanencyAlso reinforces the need to provide better services (via accessible navigator programs) among kinship families, which can only support efforts to achieve stability and maintain permanency

22 Acknowledgements: Funding:Funding: –Dr. Rubin’s work was supported through a K23 mentored career development award from NICHD (1 K23 HD A1) and a supplemental grant from the Office of Research & Planning of the Adminstration of Children & Families Special thanks to:Special thanks to: –Kevin Downes –Amanda O’Reilly MPH –Xianqun Luan MS –A. Russell Localio JD PhD –Robin Mekonnen MSW

23 Thank you.


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