School for Social Work
Kinship care-Psychological aspects, Foster children-Attitudes, Foster parents-Attitudes, Social workers-Attitudes, Scoping review, Kinship foster care, Perspectives
This study was undertaken in order to determine what the existing literature tells us about how children, kinship caregivers and social workers perceive the quality of care provided to children placed in kinship foster homes, using a scoping review methodology. The studies that made up the sample had a range of research questions and purposes, but all discussed to some degree, the views of their study participants – children, kinship caregivers and/or social workers – regarding their understandings of what aspects of quality care were most important to child well-being in kinship foster homes. Findings indicate that social workers tend to focus on child safety and permanency planning, while caregivers and children believe that less concrete elements such as the caregiver's ability to welcome and provide love to the child, the emotional support and care from social workers and the involvement of the child and caregiver in the planning process are just as essential to the provision of quality care as child safety, money and other resources. Findings further suggest that children benefit from feeling welcomed into the kinship home, that they need to feel loved by the caregiver, and that all parties want to have their voices heard and needs supported as much as possible in the decision-making process. Based on the findings of this scoping review, this author posits that working to strengthen or improve the relational and support elements that kinship foster families deem most important to the provision of high quality care will contribute to more successful outcomes for the children in kinship care.
Hoffman, Leah J. and Hoffman-Setka, Leah J., "Having a voice and being heard : a scoping review of what current literature tells us is most important to the caregivers, children and social workers involved in kinship foster care" (2012). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.