The role of kinship care in permanency outcomes
Sivright, Nancy L.
MetadataShow full item record
This study addresses the relative influence of foster care type and service provision on the achievement of permanency for children in kinship foster care. The major hypotheses are that children and families in kinship foster care are likely to receive fewer services than children and families in non-kinship foster care and are less likely to achieve permanency. Street-level bureaucracy theory serves as a useful framework for examining the way in which child welfare caseworkers may provide differential services to children and families in the context of limited resources.;Using a comparison group methodology, this study examined the case records of a random sample of children admitted to foster care within a five-year period. All were characterized as first time admissions and did not exceed the age of 12 years at time of admission. The findings suggest that there are no significant differences between children in kinship foster care and children in non-kinship foster care with regard to the level of services received and their achievement of permanency. While not consistent with trends previously noted in the literature, the findings may reflect methodological limitations including sample size, use of case records as a source of data, and inadequate measurement of the service provision variable. The study does suggest that factors other than service provision may explain the failure to achieve permanency including organizational factors such as worker turnover and child factors that include the nature and severity of problems that may dissuade foster parents from assuming permanent responsibility.