Keeping them in the family: Outcomes for abused and neglected children placed with family or friends carers through care proceedings

Joan Hunt, Suzette Waterhouse, Eleanor Lutman

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Kinship care is a fast developing field which is likely to receive greater attention following its promotion in the Care Matters White Paper. This timely study, which examines the medium term outcomes for children, provides invaluable information on the benefits and challenges of this form of care and what needs to be done if it is to be used effectively.

The study, part of the government-funded Quality Protects research initiative, tracked a cohort of 113 children, removed from their parents care because of child protection concerns and placed with kin through the courts between 1995 and 2001. There was also a small comparison group of young children placed in non-kin care. Placements were followed up in 2004/5 and assessed in terms of whether they had lasted for as long as necessary, whether they had provided good quality and safe care; the quality of the relationship between the child and the carer; and how well the child was functioning.

The research concludes that kinship care can be a positive option for many abused and neglected children but it is not straightforward and requires careful assessment and adequate support. To realise the full potential of this unique form of care requires clear policies at central and local government level, appropriate infrastructures and adequate resourcing.

This study will be essential reading for all those concerned with placement decisions within local authorities and the courts, as well as policy makers in local and central government. It will also be of interest to academics with an interest in child welfare, and organisations working with, or representing, children needing substitute care, their parents, and their carers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781905664528
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


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