Using Kinship Navigation Services to Support the Family Resource Needs, Caregiver Self-Efficacy, and Placement Stability of Children in Informal and Formal Kinship Care.

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    • Abstract:
      This study examined if kinship navigation services can improve family needs, caregiver self-efficacy and placement stability of children in the care of their grandparents or other relatives. A total of 63 caregivers and 134 children received navigation services during a period that ranged from 2 to 23 months and participated in both baseline and follow-up data collection. The study design utilized a single-group pretestposttest, using standardized assessment measures administered at baseline (case opening) and at six-month increments up to 24 months after case opening to monitor changes in caregiver perceptions over time. Additionally, state child welfare administrative data were used to determine placement stability outcomes of kinship children at the end of the study--September 30, 2015-- which covered a period that ranged from seven to 32 months after case opening. Paired samples t-tests showed that caregivers reported a significant decrease in four areas of needs after case closure. None of the areas of caregiver self-efficacy measured showed a statistically significant change, as caregivers reported a high level of self-efficacy at both pre and post-assessment. Of youth in care, 87% (n =117) remained in a stable placement and 93% (n = 125) had no subsequent child welfare investigations. Implications for policy and programming and recommendations for future research are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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