Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Foster parents receive more support than kinship caregivers, study finds

Date:
February 28, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Children who are placed with a relative because of mistreatment at home fare better in some areas than those placed in foster care, but they may have a higher risk of substance use and teenage pregnancy.

Children who are placed with a relative because of mistreatment at home fare better in some areas than those placed in foster care, but they may have a higher risk of substance use and teenage pregnancy.

The findings by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which appear in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, also show that relatives -- also known as kinship caregivers -- receive fewer support services than foster parents.

Dr. Glenn Flores, professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, said the findings are important because while most children removed from their homes are placed in foster care, kinship care is on the increase. Nationwide, more than 125,000 children removed from their immediate families are now living with relatives, partly because the number of available foster homes has decreased.

"Our findings indicate that kinship caregivers are significantly more likely to be single, unemployed, older and live in poorer households, yet they receive fewer support services than unrelated foster parents," said Dr. Flores, who also serves as head of general pediatrics at UT Southwestern and chief of general pediatrics at Children's Medical Center Dallas. "Increased caregiver support services, such as additional financial aid and parent training classes, are needed urgently for kinship caregivers."

Researchers used data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to compare family services, health and health care outcomes for children in kinship care and foster care. The survey, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, included a random sampling of children 14 and younger who were removed from their homes between October 1999 and December 2000 because of maltreatment.

A total of 1,308 children and their caregivers participated in the study; 572 children had been placed with relatives and 736 were in foster care. Researchers conducted face-to-face interviews at the beginning of the study and again after three years, assessing the children's behavioral, mental health and health-service use. The types of service caregivers received included monetary support, peer support groups, parent education and training, and respite care.

At the three-year follow-up, children and adolescents who had been placed with a relative were much more likely to be with a permanent caregiver than the children placed in foster care, the researchers found. The UT Southwestern team's examination of the data also found that although these youths had fewer ongoing behavioral and social-skills problems, they also had a sevenfold risk of pregnancy and twice the risk of substance abuse as children placed in foster care.

On the caregiver front, UT Southwestern investigators found that kinship caregivers were four times more likely as foster parents to have not graduated from high school and three times as likely to have an annual household income less than $20,000. Kinship caregivers, however, were also less than half as likely to receive any type of monetary support, four times less likely to receive any type of parent training and seven times less likely to take part in peer support groups or respite care.

The findings, Dr. Flores said, support the generally mixed viewpoints about whether kinship care is better for children than foster care.

"It's pretty clear that although kids placed in kinship care are less likely to have ongoing behavioral and social-skills problems, they still need to be closely monitored," he said. "Health care providers for children and adolescents in kinship care should increase efforts to screen youths and caregivers for high-risk behaviors such as sex and substance use and to educate them about pregnancy prevention. Recruiting more adults to serve as mentors to youths in kinship care might also help prevent these high-risk behaviors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Sakai, H. Lin, G. Flores. Health Outcomes and Family Services in Kinship Care: Analysis of a National Sample of Children in the Child Welfare System. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2011; 165 (2): 159 DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.277

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Foster parents receive more support than kinship caregivers, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090220.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, February 28). Foster parents receive more support than kinship caregivers, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090220.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Foster parents receive more support than kinship caregivers, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090220.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins