Transition Experience and Impact on Children and Caregivers in Kinship and Foster Care

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McColl, Lindsey
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Considerable information exists on the transition of youth out of foster care, but little research has been done on the experiences of children and caregivers during the transition into foster and kinship care and the impacts of this transition. This paper examines the research on caregivers and children's experiences and the impacts of the transition into care. Thirteen peer-reviewed research articles revealed six themes: no choice for caregivers, well-being of caregivers, lack of resources for caregivers and children, children's ambiguity, children's attachment and behavioural issues, and children's placement stability. Findings indicate that children and caregivers are greatly affected by the transition; specifically, the transition into kinship care appears to present more challenges for caregivers, whereas the transition into foster care appears to present greater challenges for children. Policymakers should be more proactive in supporting caregivers and children with the transition into care to lessen the impacts on both.
foster care