38th Edition (February 2014)

Date Published

Flynn, R. J., Marquis, R. A., Paquet, M-P., Peeke, L. M., & Aubry, T. D. (2012). Effects of individual direct-instruction tutoring on foster children’s academic skills: A randomized trial. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 1183-1189.

This study hypothesized that foster children who were exposed to an individualized tutoring intervention delivered by their foster parents would experience significantly greater gains in reading, spelling, and math than their counterparts on the intervention waitlist. A total of 77 children between six and 13 years from nine different child welfare organizations were randomly assigned to the intervention or waitlist group. The tutoring intervention required three hours per week of individual tutoring. The weekly tutoring included two hours of one-on-one instruction by the foster caregiver in reading, 30 minutes of the child reading aloud, and 30 minutes of step-by-step self-paced instruction with a CD-ROM in math. Children’s’ reading, spelling, and math scores were tested before and after the 30-week intervention. Results indicate that the intervention group faired significantly better than the waitlist group in sentence comprehension and math computation. Non-significant effects were found in the areas of word reading, reading composite, and spelling scores.

Perry, G., Daly, M., & Kotler, J. (2012). Placement stability in kinship and non-kin foster care: A Canadian study. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 460-465.

This study compared the stability of kinship and non-kin foster placements of one child welfare organization in Ontario. Administrative data of children who were removed from their parent’s care between 2008 and 2010 were analyzed. The total sample included 880 foster families and 389 kin families. Findings indicate that within the first six months of being placed in out-of-home care, on average, kin placements were significantly more likely to last 30 days longer than foster placements. Even though most foster placements were more likely to be shorter in duration than kin placements, kin placements were more likely to end in discharge to the parents’ care than foster placements. Further, children in foster placements who were discharged to their parents were significantly more likely to return to out-of-home care than their counterparts in kin placements. The stability of kin care persisted even when child age and maltreatment type were considered.

Rhodes, A. E., M. H. Boyle, et al. (2012). Child maltreatment and onset of emergency department presentations for suicide-related behaviors. Child Abuse and Neglect, 36(6), 542-551.

This study examined the rates of a first presentation to the emergency department (ED) for suicide-related behaviour (SRB). Presentation rates of youth who were living permanently in the care of a child welfare organization were compared to their peers living with caregivers of origin. The sample is a population-based cohort of 12 to 17 year olds living in Ontario. To assess ED presentations for SRB, youth who were permanently living in out-of-home care (n=4,683) and their peers living with caregivers of origin (n=1,034,546) were individually linked to health care records. Findings of this retrospective study indicate that youth living under the care of a child welfare organization were five times more likely to present SRBs at the ED than youth living with their caregivers of origin. Authors suggest further research in the areas of prevention of child maltreatment, recurrence of child maltreatment, and the promotion of resilience after child maltreatment has been identified. Additionally, the need for collaboration between child welfare and mental health services provides an opportunity for intervention.