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Kinship Care for the Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being of Children Removed from the Home for Maltreatment

NCJ Number
Date Published

This document compares the effect of kinship care placement to traditional foster care placement on the safety, permanency, and well-being of children removed from their homes for maltreatment; it provides the research background, objectives, methods, results, discussion, and authors’ conclusions, as well as references, additional tables, and other appendices and notes.


The authors of this meta-analysis sought to determine if research studies could be relied upon to determine whether kinship care placement or foster care placement is better for children who were removed from their homes for maltreatment. The authors found 102 studies with more than 600,000 children that met the acceptable methodological standards. The authors state that current best evidence suggests that children in kinship foster care may do better than children in traditional foster care in terms of their behavioral development, mental health functioning, and placement stability, while children in traditional foster care placements may do better with regard to achieving adoption and accessing services they may need. The authors report no negative effects experimented by children who were placed in kinship care; they also note that the major limitation of their systematic review was that the quality of research on kinship care is weakened by the poor methodology of the studies. They also discuss several implications for practice, for practitioners and policy makers, as well as implications for future research.

Date Published: January 1, 2014