Title

The influence of caregiver depression on children in non-relative foster care versus kinship care placements.

Year of Publication

2015

Number of Pages

459-67

Date Published

2015 Mar

ISSN Number

1573-6628

Abstract

<p>Little is known about how the challenges faced by caregivers influence the variation in social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) outcomes of youth placed in kinship versus non-relative foster care. This study examined SEB symptoms among youth in kinship and non-relative foster care settings, hypothesizing that changes in caregiver depression would modify children's change in behavior over time. Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) assessments of 199 children placed with kinship and non-relative foster care providers in a Mid-Atlantic city were conducted at time of placement and 6-12 months post-placement. Linear regression estimated CBCL change scores for youth across placement type and caregiver depression trajectories. Kinship caregivers were more likely to become depressed or remained depressed than non-relative foster caregivers. Youth in kinship care always exhibited better change in SEB outcomes than youth in non-relative foster care, but these positive outcomes were principally observed among families where caregivers demonstrated a reduction in depression over time or were never depressed. Adjusted change scores for non-relative foster care youth were always negative, with the most negative scores among youth whose caregivers became depressed over time. Caregiver well-being may modify the influence of placement setting on SEB outcomes for youth placed into out-of-home care. Findings lend to policy relevance for child welfare systems that seek kinship settings as a panacea to the challenges faced by youth, without allocating resources to address caregiver needs.</p>

DOI

10.1007/s10995-014-1525-9

Alternate Title

Matern Child Health J

PMID

24889115

WATCH THIS PAGE

Subscription is not available for this page.