Does the child welfare system serve the neediest kinship care families?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher A. Swann, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Little is known about how kinship care arrangements within the child welfare system compare to kinship placements outside the child welfare system. The purpose of this study is to better understand the characteristics that influence whether a child is placed in public or private kinship care. Using national level data, we employ bivariate analysis and logistic regression to evaluate how child, caregiver and state characteristics are related to the placement of children in public versus private kinship care. Our findings suggest that the child welfare system indeed serves the most vulnerable children. Children with disabilities, children with behavioral problems, and infants are all more likely in public kinship care compared to their counterparts. However, evidence on whether the most disadvantaged kinship caregivers are in public arrangements is mixed. On the one hand, kinship caregivers in public care are older, less educated, less likely employed, and more likely to have ever been on welfare. On the other hand, public kinship caregivers are less likely than private caregivers to live below the federal poverty line or experience food insecurities.

Additional Information

Children and Youth Services Review, 28(10), 1213-1228.
Language: English
Date: 2006
child welfare system, kinship care, foster care

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