Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Mar;42(3):89-97.

Mental health of children in foster and kinship care in New South Wales, Australia.

Author information

  • 1Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medical Practice and Population Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia. michael.tarrensweeney@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To report baseline mental health measures from the Children in Care study, a prospective epidemiological study of children in court-ordered foster and kinship care in New South Wales, Australia.

METHODS:

Mental health, socialization and self-esteem were assessed in 347 children in a statewide mail survey, using two carer-report checklists, the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Assessment Checklist for Children (ACC).

RESULTS:

Children in the study had exceptionally poor mental health and socialization, both in absolute terms, and relative to normative and in-care samples. Levels and rates of disturbance for children in foster care exceeded all prior estimates. Rates of disturbance for children in kinship care were high, but within the range of prior estimates. Boys presented with higher scope and severity of mental health problems than girls on the CBCL, while gender-specific patterns of disturbance were shown on the ACC. A moderate age effect was accounted for by children's age at entry into care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children in care are at high risk of mental health problems. Psychological support for the children and their carers is an essential secondary prevention strategy. Implications for service delivery are discussed.

Comment in

PMID:
16509906
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk