Differences in the Evaluation and Satisfaction with Foster Care between Kinship and Non-Kin Foster Carers

Nuria Fuentes-Peláez, Carme Montserrat, Rosa Sitjes-Figueras, Gemma Crous


Understanding the distinctive features of kinship and non-kin foster care has sparked research interest aimed at developing policies and programs. This study analyses 930 cases of fostered children (35.5% in non-kin foster care and 64.5% in kinship care) based on the information provided by child care professionals and the evaluations made by 221 foster carers (34.8% in non-kin foster care and 65.2% in kinship care) using different questionnaires.

Significant differences were obtained between kinship and non-kin foster care, indicating more favourable results on stability in kinship placements, although the less favourable results regarding the education and employment of kinship carers. Significant differences were observed in how foster carers perceived their role, with kinship carers reporting greater facility in raising the fostered child and higher satisfaction with the placement.

However, they were less satisfied with the financial support. Cluster analysis confirmed these differences, identifying two groups based on the overall evaluation of raising foster children and satisfaction with the placement. The findings serve to provide evidence in support of kinship care and also indicate the need to re-examine the role played by the information made available to non-kin foster parents about the biological family and the impact on the foster placement.

Journal of Family Studies