What interventions improve outcomes for kinship carers and their children

What interventions improve outcomes for kinship carers and their children


This protocol summarises plans for a systematic review of policies, programmes, and interventions that aim to improve outcomes for kinship carers and their children.

Who, what, why and how?

Within the UK, an increasing number of children are being placed in kinship care arrangements, where a child lives with a relative or close family friend, usually because their parents are not able to care for them. While there is some promising evidence that existing interventions may improve outcomes for children and carers, there are still gaps in the evidence base, particularly regarding the range of outcomes reported and specific geographical regions or demographics.

We have commissioned the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) to conduct a systematic review, with the purpose of identifying promising and effective policies, programmes and interventions. The review will include children and young people aged 0-21, or their carers, who are in formal or informal kinship care in high-income countries.

The quantitative aspect of the review will look at interventions which aim to improve outcomes for children who are in kinship care arrangements due to child maltreatment, neglect or risk of child maltreatment, relinquishment, or lack of provision of support. For this aspect of the review, the outcomes of interest are safety, permanence, wellbeing and educational attainment.

The qualitative review will include the voices of kinship carers, kinship-experienced children and young people or professionals working in kinship care in the UK, looking at the acceptability of interventions, and barriers and enablers to successful implementation.

Research Questions

The systematic review will comprise of both a quantitative (RQ1-3) and a qualitative review (RQ 4-5).

  1. What interventions for kinship families improve the outcomes of children in kinship care (e.g., safety, permanence, and wellbeing) and for kinship carers (e.g., wellbeing, confidence in parenting, relationship with child in care)?
  2. Are there interventions / programmes that are particularly effective with different groups of carers and children (e.g., disabled or minority carers or children)?
  3. Are there common elements shared by effective interventions?
  4. What are the enablers and barriers to successful implementation of interventions for kinship carers and children in kinship care?
  5. What are the perspectives of kinship carers and children in kinship care on the acceptability and usefulness of different interventions?

Evaluation partners

Centre for Evidence and Implementation, Colorado State University, Monash University School of Primary and Allied Health Care

Due Date

This project is due to be completed by May 2024.

Kinship Care Systemic Review Protocol


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