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Welfare reform on the Web (December 2006): Child welfare - Overseas

From the child’s perspective: a qualitative analysis of kinship care placements

J. T. Messing
Children and Youth Services Review, vol.28, 2006, p.1415-1434

Kinship care is a living arrangement in which a relative takes on primary responsibility for raising a child. In spite of the growing popularity among child welfare services in the USA of placing children in kinship care, few studies have described, from the child’s point of view, the experience of living in the care of a relative. This paper provides a descriptive analysis of kinship care from the child’s perspective, using data gathered from eight focus groups. Topics for discussion at the groups included transitional issues, family relationships, the stigma of being in care, and the child’s perception of the stability of the placement.

Independent living programs for young people leaving the care system: the state of the evidence

P. Montgomery, C. Donkoh and K. Underhill
Children and Youth Services Review, vol.28, 2006, p.1435-1448

A substantial body of evidence suggests that young people leaving the public care system in the USA are at increased risk of low educational attainment, unemployment, homelessness, mental and physical ill health, welfare dependency, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Independent living programmes, which incorporate life skills and personal development, are a strategy frequently used to improve outcomes for young care leavers. This paper systematically reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of independent living programmes.

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