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Assessing the Long Term Effects of Foster Care: A Research Synthesis Paperback – February, 1997
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I was sad that foster kids don't do so well as a group, and relieved that there are good individual results for some children.
Here are two tidbits that I found interesting as I formulate my strategy in coping with the chaos that is foster care:
Like everywhere else in our socieity, socio-econmic security increases the chances for better outcomes, which makes sense as foster kids need a lot of support and resources. Prevailing wisdom is that kinship matters most (current policy is to place the child with a family member as the first priority). Of course, if we placed the child with a kinship family and invested in getting them the resources they needed, the results might be very different.
Birth family contact in one study did not improve well-being outcomes. Again, the prevailing wisdom is that birth family contact matters a lot. And, again, the whole birth family contact thing is poorly understood and poorly handled; so while this is interesting in the here and now as parents try to make decisions, the results may have little meaning when considering how to set up a system that is in the best interest of the child.
Keep muddlng thorugh foster families! While we may want a list of "this works better" it isn't yet available.