Academic Trajectories of Children in Formal and Informal Kinship Care

Tyreasa Washington, C. Joy Stewart, Roderick A. Rose - Child Development


The academic achievement places children on a positive trajectory for their lifespan. The aim of this study was to examine the academic trajectories of children in out-of-home care (OOCH) and whether kinship care has a protective effect relative to nonkin foster care. The sample analyzed for this study consists of 519,306 racially diverse youth in North Carolina schools 8 to 11 years old in the school year 2009–2010 (e.g., 27% African American, 12% Latinx, 53% White). Four longitudinal administrative data sources were merged to create this unique sample. Multilevel modeling revealed no difference between formal and non-OOHC, but showed differences between nonkin foster, informal, and non-OOHC. Children’s academic performance who reside in formal kinship care is similar to children in non-OOHC.