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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2002): Child Welfare - Overseas

AFRICAN AMERICAN EXTENDED FAMILIES AND KINSHIP CARE: HOW RELEVANT IS THE FOSTER CARE MODEL FOR KINSHIP CARE

S. Brown, D. Cohon, and R. Wheeler

Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 24, 2002, p. 53-77

Article reviews the role of extended family in the lives of 30 young people residing in kinship care households in the USA. Results show that these young people had extensive experience of living with kin prior to their official placement in kinship care. This familiarity with extended family households suggests that young people in kinship care may find the arrangement neither novel nor disruptive.

CHILD CARE, WOMEN'S LABOUR MARKET PARTICIPATION AND LABOUR MARKET POLICY EFFECTIVENESS IN CANADA

L. White

Canadian Public Policy, vol. 27, 2001, p. 385-405

Paper demonstrates the positive effects of the greater supply of and financial support for child care on women's labour market participation in many European countries, and the negative effects of the lack of affordable child care on women's labour market participation in Canada. It then explores the paucity of current federal, provincial, territorial and employer funding support for child care, and the failure to link child care to other labour market policy initiatives. Drawing on other countries' experiences, the article proposes specific initiatives that would expand child carers' positive labour market effects in Canada.

THE EVOLUTION OF FEDERAL AND STATE POLICIES FOR ASSESSING AND SUPPORTING KINSHIP CAREGIVERS

J. Leos-Urbel, R. Bess and R. Green

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 24, 2002, p. 37-52

States' use of kin as foster parents has expanded faster than the ability of either the US Federal or state governments to assess whether existing foster care policies are appropriate for kinship care. Since the US Federal government began funding foster care, it has carefully regulated states' foster care practices, imposing standards and procedural safeguards that must be met. However, Federal foster care policies were written prior to the proliferation of kinship care and, until the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, were silent on how states should apply existing standards to kinship care. As Federal and state policies continue to evolve, there is still a lack of consensus on whether or how child welfare agencies should treat kinship care differently than non-kin foster care.

THE GIFT OF KINSHIP FOSTER CARE

M. F. Testa and K. S. Slack

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 24, 2002, p. 79-108

Study uses a set of survey data on 983 kinship care children in Cook County, Illinois, who were followed from June 1994 to June 1999, to investigate kinship care as a gift relationship. Gift relationships refer to acts of beneficence not motivated by immediate self-interest. In the study, kinship care placements were more likely to be sustainable if birth parents visited regularly and co-operated with service plans. They were also less likely to break down if carers retained the full foster care subsidy, reported a good relationship with the child, attended church regularly and grew up in the American South.

KIN AND NON-KIN FOSTER CARE: FINDINGS FROM A NATIONAL SURVEY

J. Ehrle and R. Green

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 24, 2002, p. 15-35

Data show that children in kinship care in the US face significantly more environmental hardships than children in non-kin foster care. Kin also receive fewer services and less support than non-kin care givers. On the other hand, kin provides children with continuity, are usually familiar to the children, and help children maintain family ties. This creates a dilemma for policy makers as to whether the benefits of continuity outweigh the disadvantages of environmental hardship.

KINSHIP CARE: AN EVOLVING SERVICE DELIVERY OPTION

R. Green and J. D. Berrick

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 24, 2002, p. 1-14

In the US, state child welfare agencies continue to rely significantly on kin to act as foster parents. Article summarises the on-going debate about whether kin should be paid to act as foster carers and whether such placements are more stable than non-kin foster care arrangements. It also considers research evidence on the safety and well-being of children placed in kin care.

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