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Child Abuse Negl. 1994 Jul;18(7):587-97.

School performance of children in kinship care.

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  • 1Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC 20037.


This study represents the first comprehensive assessment of the school performance of children placed in the care of a relative, an arrangement termed kinship care. The educational programs, academic achievement, and cognitive and language skills of the children were assessed with a teacher questionnaire and standardized tests. Compared to their peers, high rates of grade retention and participation in special and remedial education, as well as significant academic achievement, cognitive, and language deficits were found. Most teachers, however, reported that educational services were appropriate and several interventions had proven successful. Analyses of predictor variables showed that placement at a later age and fewer children in the home were associated with higher academic achievement. Results are reviewed in the context of other foster care studies, and recommendations are made regarding future research and educational needs of children in kinship care.

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