KCV’s longitudinal study, begun in 2011, continues to provide a detailed and extremely useful picture of the evolution of kinship care placements.
KCV believes that, where it is possible, remaining within their extended family is in the best interests of children and young people and that this provides the best outcomes for young adults transitioning out of care.
The KCV Longitudinal Study of Kinship Care Families supports the validity of this belief. The 2018 survey shows that for the most part, kinship care arrangements for the families in the study continue to be stable.
Throughout the eight years of the survey, one theme that has consistently arisen is that of carer wellbeing. It is an important yet often overlooked fact that carers cannot fulfil their role to the best of their ability if they themselves are facing challenges to their own mental or physical health. KCV is working to provide programs aimed at helping carers to focus on their own wellbeing.
Outcomes for children and young people
Positive outcomes achieved for children and young people are the core business of kinship care, and this study continues to demonstrate that these are being achieved.
Carers report that the children and young people in their care are healthy and happy. While there are some cases where the children and young people are facing greater challenges than others, most carers report that those in their care are doing well, receiving the support they need, and progressing towards independence.
New children into families
Since 2011, 14 different families have between them welcomed 20 new children into the study, taking the total number of children and young people in the study to 197.
• nine families have welcomed one new child
• four families have welcomed two
• one family has welcomed three children
Given the young age of these children, 13 of whom were under 10 years old, many carers are extending their caring role by years.
Children/young people reconciled with a parent
By 2018, 29 children/young people had been reconciled with parents during the course of the study.
Many of these reconciliations have occurred after a number of years, and have for the most part been successful.
Most carers in the study have recognised that it is in the best interests of the children that reconciliation be attempted, although they do find it difficult to give up the children in their care..