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Kinship Care – Client Complexity Preliminary Research Findings ACWA 2014 - Presenters: Marita Scott & Lynne McCrae.

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Presentation on theme: "Kinship Care – Client Complexity Preliminary Research Findings ACWA 2014 - Presenters: Marita Scott & Lynne McCrae."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kinship Care – Client Complexity Preliminary Research Findings ACWA Presenters: Marita Scott & Lynne McCrae

2 Summary Victorian Kinship Care Support Model Project Background & Demographics Placement Measures Findings, Complexity Indicators & Impacts – Children Findings, Complexity Indicators & Impacts – Carers Key Conclusions and Recommendations 2

3 Kinship Care in Victoria 3885 statutory kinship placements – all statutory kinship placements made by Child Protection in Victoria –743 kinship placements contracted to community service organisations (CSOs) to provide ongoing support (including early placement support and case contract). Funded Kinship support model operating since March 2010 Model of funded CSO kinship support services involves: –contracted cases/placements to support –placement establishment support (PES) –family support service –information and advice 3

4 Project Background Baptcare, OzChild & Anchor are Kinship Care service providers in Victoria that have identified increasing complexity in statutory kinship placements and are concerned about the adequacy of capacity of the existing kinship care service model in Victoria to properly address the level of complexity. ‘Complexity’ in this study relates to any one or a combination of issues relating to the child or carer or the family –Substantial problems in the domains of health, emotional disturbance, social interaction, family relations and financial difficulties Currently no validated tool used in Victoria (or internationally) to define and assess complexity within out of home care, or specifically for kinship care. 4

5 Project Background Aims of this research was to explore the range and impact of complexity surrounding statutory kinship care placements for kinship clients from Baptcare, OzChild and Anchor. This study identifies ‘indicators of placement complexity’ that may act as ‘red flags’ at the time of referral to indicate the placement would benefit from more intensive and/or therapeutic supports (derived from both the child and carer). No previous known studies that have attempted to measure complexity in kinship care arrangements and service needs in OoHC 5

6 Methodology A total of 130 children and their carers were randomly selected to participate in this study from Baptcare (n=50), OzChild (n=50) and Anchor (n=30) covering the period March 2011-March 2013 Sample represents 18% of the number of statutory kinship placements supported by CSOs in metropolitan Victoria Study involved a secondary analysis of pre-existing service data relating to statutory, state-funded kinship placements 6

7 Demographics (Child, n=130 ) 7

8 Demographics (Carer, n=130 ) 8

9 Placement Measures Two thirds (69%) of all placements in this study had a duration of more than two years In 43% of cases, agency support for that placement was provided for the same time period. Most cases came from the Western region of Melbourne (39%), followed by the Southern region (33%) and Eastern metro regions (29%) Most were Case Contracted (69%) v PES (31%) 9

10 Child and Carer Issues (Overall) The initial assessment tool used by CP practitioners to assess the placement found almost two thirds of all cases (63%) had placement issues concerning both the child and carer In 80% of cases, issues concerning the placement for either the child and carer were identified after the initial assessment. 10

11 Placement Issues for the Child Over half the sample of children (55%) had issues documented at initial assessment Of these children, 44% had at least 2 issues identified at initial assessment –This represents 24% of the total sample of children Two thirds of the children (68%) had issues identified after the placement had been established Of these children, 40% had two placement issues identified after the placement had been established –This represents a quarter (27%) of all children in the study 11

12 Placement Issues for the Child (n=130) 12

13 Impact of Child Issues on the Placement Of the 88 cases where a placement issue identified for the child, 57% were recorded as having a ‘high’ impact on the placement and 83% were recorded as having a ‘medium or high’ impact on the placement. 13

14 Other Key Findings (Child) Education Two thirds of children (68%) attended primary or secondary school –Of these, half (50%) experienced poor educational outcomes (not achieving academically, learning difficulties) 15% of all children were reported as being socially isolated from friends, family, school and/or community –This was having a ‘medium to high’ impact on the placement for 19/20 of these children 14

15 Issues for the Carer Just over half (54%) of all carers had issues identified at initial assessment Of these carers, 30% had at least two issues identified at Initial Assessment –This represents 16% of the total sample of carers Two thirds (68%) of all carers had issues identified for the carer after placement was established Of these carers, 22% had at least two issues identified after initial assessment –This represents 15% of the total sample of carers 15

16 Placement Issues for the Carer (n=130) 16

17 Impact of Carer Issues on the Placement Of the 89 cases where a placement issue identified for the carer, 45% were recorded as having a ‘high’ impact on the placement, and a combined total of 67% were recorded as having a ‘medium or high’ impact on the placement. 17

18 Other Key Findings (Carer) 19% of all carers had complexity evident with their own biological children (health, behavioural issues etc.) 14% of all carers blocked access to specialist support services for the child being cared for (eg. counselling) 20% of all carers had prior Child Protection involvement with their own biological children 16% of all carers experienced social isolation from their friends, family and/or community 18

19 Child Placement Complexity Indicators Study identified a range of placement complexity indicators that can have significant impact on the placement for child. The main complexity indicators identified for the CHILD are: Significant behavioural issues Significant school difficulties (suspension, school refusal, ongoing issues) Learning difficulties Risk taking behaviours (including drug & alcohol) Significant mental health issues (depression, suicide attempts, and self-harm) Disability 19

20 Child Placement Complexity Indicators 38 children (29% of total sample of children) presented with just the 1 complexity indicator. A further 26 children (20% in total) presented with at least 2 indicators of complexity Therefore in total, 49% of children in this study presented with at least one complexity indicator The proportion of children presenting with indicators of placement complexity is substantially more than recognised in the service model. 20

21 Carer Placement Complexity Indicators. The main complexity indicators identified for CARERS are: QoC review CP history with the carers own children Complexity evident in the carers own household relating to their biological children Carers blocking access to supports Carers isolated from social connections Financial stress 21

22 Carer Placement Complexity Indicators 41 carers (32% of all carers in study) presented with just the 1 complexity indicator. A further 50 carers (38%) presented with at least 2 indicators of complexity. Therefore in total, 70% of carers in the total sample presented with at least one indicator of complexity The proportion of carers presenting with indicators of placement complexity is significantly more than recognised in the service model. 22

23 Key Conclusions Majority of children in OOHC currently reside in a kinship arrangement. It’s no longer acceptable to assume that a familial relationship is enough to meet their needs. These children experience trauma, grief and loss – this impacts on all areas of life and have long term outcomes The needs of carers and their issues impact significantly on the outcomes of the child and their needs must be considered Until we better understand these complexities within kinship arrangements and develop appropriate responses, we run the risk of failing to meet the needs of half the children and young people whop are unable to live with their parents 23

24 Key Recommendations Kinship model is evaluated, further developed and refined to support complex cases –Any future models of support need to be piloted and evaluated Majority of kinship cases should be contracted to CSO’s for support and time limits to support PES cases should be removed All children should be reclassified through the current foster care complexity classifications, as an interim measure, allowing for additional case worker time A reliable and validated tool, specific to kinship needs to be developed to assess complexity for the children AND carers 24

25 Key Recommendations Sector service development is undertaken to provide an understanding of the impact of complexity in kinship arrangements Policies and practices of kinship screening needs to be strengthened across regions Continual training provided to CP to build a greater understanding of level of detail required for screening assessments More appropriate levels of financial reimbursement are available for kinship arrangements (equitable level of care) 25

26 Next Steps This research will be formally launched by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare in October / November 2014 in Melbourne 26

27 Research Queries Rachel Breman Senior Researcher Baptcare 27


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